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Rally Held At Queens Cathedral In Response To South Carolina Church Shooting

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A rally and march were held in Queens Saturday in response to the shooting massacre in Charleston, South Carolina.

Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the rally dubbed #IamAME at Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal Cathedral of New York in Jamaica, 1010 WINS' Gary Baumgarten reported.

Following the rally, de Blasio called the shooting "an act of domestic terrorism."

"...and it was an act of terrorism based on racism, that's the reality," the mayor said.

De blasio said he thinks it's time to have a blunt conversation about the availability of guns and mental health problems related to massacres.

Rally Held At Queens Cathedral In Response To South Carolina Church Shooting

Ralliers bowed their heads and held hands in unity during the rally, WCBS 880's Jim Smith reported. They also had a message for South Carolina:

"That we're there with you. We may not be there physically, but we're there spiritually."

Senior pastor Rev. Floyd H. Flake said the entire Greater Allen family is overwhelmed with sadness over the shooting.

"Our thoughts and prayers continually rest with all those affected, and we will do everything in our power to support them during this dark time," Rev. Flake said in a statement.

"This is an new beginning for the African Methodist Episopal Church," said Henrietta Scott Fullard with the A.M. E Church. "And to our haters, you can't stop us, we've come too far."

Letitia James, a public advocate, insisted that hate cannot kill good.

"Hate Cannot kill a a comfort station that has been at the center of our struggle through the history of time," James said. "And hate cannot kill the greatest force for change in this country. And that is the church. And hate cannot kill good. And it never will."

The crowd also agreed that it was time to stop flying the confederate flag in places like Charleston, CBS2's Sonia Rincon reports.

Rally Held At Queens Cathedral In Response To South Carolina Church Shooting

Dylann Storm Roof is accused of gunning down nine bible study members at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday night.

Roof had spent nearly an hour inside the historic black church before killing the six women and three men, including the pastor, police said.

Court documents said Roof "stood up" and "pulled out a handgun," and began shooting. All nine victims were shot multiple times.

A warrant said that before Roof left, "he stood over a witness and uttered a racially inflammatory statement."

A federal law enforcement source said he planned the shooting for months and picked the historic site because he wanted to "start a race war."

The 21-year-old is charged with nine counts of murder and one of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Following the rally, de Blasio, church and communities leaders led a march to St. Albans Park.

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