WORCESTER — A community vigil against racism, hate and violence will be held Tuesday evening at City Hall.

The vigil, being billed as "A Community Gathering for Unity," was organized after a hangman's noose was recently removed from the employee area of the U.S. Postal Service branch in the Denholm Building, across from City Hall.

The event is sponsored by the mayor's office and the city manager's Community Coalition Against Bias and Hate, in collaboration with the city Human Rights Commission, the Worcester chapter of the NAACP and the Worcester Black Clergy Alliance.

Organizers are hoping the 5 p.m. vigil will be well-attended as a show of solidarity and will serve to "affirm that Worcester is not a place where hateful or violent acts will be tolerated," according to an announcement of the gathering signed by Mayor Joseph M. Petty and City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr.

"This symbol, the most horrific form of intimidation and violence, reminds us all of the shameful history of slavery and sustained violence against African-Americans in the United States," said Patricia Yancey, president of the local NAACP, in an email to the community.

"African-Americans are not the only group of people who have been killed and terrorized by the hangman's noose. Throughout history, sustained violence against minority groups has oppressed, divided and created an environment of racism and hate."

An NAACP member noticed the noose hanging from the ceiling inside the branch office on June 12. It was visible from the customer counter.

The NAACP member told the local NAACP, and the organization's political action chairman later went to the office and asked that it be removed because it symbolizes "hate and suffering," Mr. Petty's office said in the announcement.

Mrs. Yancey asked for a federal investigation, which is being done by the U.S. inspector general's office. The Postal Service told the Telegram & Gazette it would take any action deemed appropriate after that.

The status of the investigation was not immediately available Thursday, but Mrs. Yancey said Cory Flashner of the U.S. Department of Justice told her Wednesday his office was awaiting a report from the IG's investigator.

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