MONTCLAIR, NJ (CBSNewYork) – Above the rainbow flags, the purple shirts, the waving signs, there were snipers on the rooftops at Montclair State University today in response to a threat.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

Even neighboring Passaic County police and officers from surrounding towns were on foot and on motorcycle.

“The gut reaction is to be terrified,” said student Jack Smith.

The latest in a series of threats was the most frightening. This one said gays were to die today.

“A lot of people were told by their parents, friends, and families not to come out to class and not to come to the rally,” Smith told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.

But they came, Smith said.

“Why should we let people push us out of our education?” said rally organizer Francesca Scirocco. “We need to retaliate against the this, in a peaceful way to show that it’s not making us angry. It’s only making us stand together.”

“What would you say to these people, the people making these threats?” Silverman asked him.

“You’ve done great damage to a community that has a capacity for healing beyond what I think you anticipated,” answered Smith.