Following the Justice for George Floyd Protest and March in Bridgehampton on Tuesday, June 2, which brought out hundreds of – if not a thousand – supporters, additional protests will be held in the Hamptons throughout the weekend.
Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday, May 25. Video of Floyd’s death has caused outrage across the nation, leading to protests and riots. One of the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. He, along with three other officers – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, has been fired. On Wednesday, June 3, five days after charges were initially brought against Chauvin, it was announced that Thao, Lane and Kueng will also face charges.
Demonstrations began in Minneapolis on Tuesday, May 26 and since have traveled across the US. On Thursday, June 4, there will be a community vigil at 10 a.m. at Agawam Park in Southampton. The gathering is being organized by Denise Smith, Pastor Leslie Duroseau and Juni Wingfield. Local clergy will be attending. The community vigil will conclude with a Solidarity Walk, which will go up Jobs Lane, around Main Street, and head back to Agawam Park. The second peaceful protest is being organized by Marilyn Banks Winter of African American Educational and Cultural Festival of Riverhead. The Black Lives Matter protest will begin from Agawam Park at 6 p.m., heading up Windmill Lane to Nugent Street onto Main Street, around Hampton Road, and conclude at the Southampton Town building. The advised dress code is dark or solid colors – preferably black hoodies to show solidarity. “Please remember that our number one priority is safety. Also please remember that this is a peaceful protest, so please try to remain as peaceful as possible,” the event’s flyer notes. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask and practice social distancing at both events.
In addition to justice for Floyd, protesters across the nation are also seeking justice for Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT and emergency technician that was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers in her apartment as she slept on Friday, March 13, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old black man that was fatally shot on Sunday, February 23 by armed white residents of a South Georgia neighborhood while out on a jog near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia.
East End Against Hate is holding a Black Lives Matter Protest in Sag Harbor on Friday, June 5 at Steinbeck Park from 12 to 3 p.m. Participants are asked to meet at the Windmill and “all are welcome, please be peaceful. Please wear a mask.” For more information, visit www.facebook.com.
Solidarity in Surf, a “peaceful protest for the Black lives lost to police brutality and racism in America and across the globe” coordinated by Black Girls Surf, will be held at Ditch Plains in Montauk on Friday, June 5. Part of a Worldwide Paddle Out, the event will commence at 5 p.m. Additional paddle outs will take place in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, the Channel Islands, South Carolina, Sydney, and other locales. For more information, email [email protected] or visit Instagram.com.
George Floyd Memorial March, “a march against police brutality and systematic racism,” will take place on Saturday, June 6 at Herrick Park in East Hampton at 12:30 p.m. Participants will march from Herrick Park to the Windmill.
Westhampton Beach for Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest and March will be held on Saturday, June 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. Participants should meet at the Great Lawn in Westhampton Beach. The community is invited to show their support for racial equality and criminal reform justice.
Additionally, “Say Their Names: A Peaceful Rally” will be held on Sunday, June 7 at Hook Windmill in East Hampton from 2 to 5 p.m.
“I attended a peaceful protest in Brentwood and I immediately got inspired to bring something like this out to the East End! I got tired of asking myself, expressing to others, and hearing from others that we should do this and decided to act on it!” Taliya Hayes, who is organizing the event with Anna Hoffmann, noted on Say Their Names: A Peaceful Rally’s Facebook page. “With the help of some amazing fellow peers of mine, we will make this come to fruition, but its up to you guys to show up and show out!! We will be hosting a peaceful rally and stand in solidarity as we remember those who were victims of white supremacy and police brutality and never got the justice they truly deserved. An end needs to be put to this vicious and deadly cycle and it starts with US using our voices!”
Hayes continued, “Although it may be challenging, we are encouraging all attendees to try to abide by social distancing rules as best as possible. We are also asking that you do your part and wear your masks!”
“Absolutely NO hate, derogatory terms, discrimination, and anything else in that nature will be tolerated on this page, you will be removed IMMEDIATELY if so. We are here for peace, we are here to stand together,” Hayes concluded.
For more information about “Say Their Names: A Peaceful Rally,” visit www.facebook.com.