The RYE (Respect Your Elders) Rally hosted 20 diverse acts during the five hour event. From musicians to poets to powerful speakers, Kent showed its support in good old fashioned Kent form.
"You guys can get loud. We just ask that you do not overturn cars or set them on fire," event MC Chris Yamar said jokingly to kick off the event.
And while the rally didn't threaten violence, it did bring out a good deal of powerful voices speaking out against what they see as a great injustice.
These seniors are "victims of unfair, un-American housing discrimination," said civil rights attorney Avery Friedman, who has agreed to serve as legal counsel for the group.
Friedman asked us to remember that the people that Capstone Development and Tell Real Estate is forcing out are the very people who have served us for many years.
Vivian Ramone echoed that sentiment in prepared remarks. "The RYE Rally stands for dignity, compassion, loving our neighbors, and respecting our elders. These are people who cared for us. They grew business and industry. They educated us. They fought, bled, and suffered for our American freedom.
The same freedom, education, and industry twisted and turned against them in their senior years to evict them from their homes — from their community — from their friends and loved ones," she said.
These strong words come from a young woman of 14. She, along with her sister Midge, 11, and her family, organized the event.
"It's better than I could have thought," Vivian said of the turnout.
The sisters' band, Shisho, performed spunky songs like America Will Punch You and I Love the Police for the Silver Oaks residents.
Some other names on the bill were Wah-Chiu Lai, Dr. Bill Kenney, Rockin' Robin Montgomery & friends, Hal Walker, Ashley Brooke Toussant, Merle Mollenkopf, Maj Ragain, Halim El-Dabh and Arlyne Habeeb.
In addition, some Silver Oaks residents took to the stage to speak up about their situation. Lorraine Davis expressed the "immense need for affordable housing for seniors who want to live in Kent because it is our home."
A fund is being established at Home Savings Bank to continue to support residents fighting their forced removal.
If you would like to contribute, contact Home Savings Bank at 142 N. Water St. They can also be reached at 330-673-9827 or www.homesavingsbnk.com/.