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Report back from Hempstead march and vigil against hate

KW: Tonight, Saturday, November 22nd, there was a march, rally and vigil in Hempstead to commemorate the life of Marcelo Lucero and to call for an end to hate. Ian and I attended the first part, the march from the bus stop to Town Hall. (We had a memorial event we needed to attend, as well.) There was a great spirit of empowerment. It was a diverse group, including a man with a yarmulke, peace activists, greens, English speakers and Spanish speakers. There were several dozen people, a pretty good turnout for a freezing day – 22 degrees and windy.

We were surprised that many of the signs were so pointedly against Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. It is true that Levy supported a lot of legislation that is targeted at undocumented workers, and would probably lead to racial profiling. So, there is a lot of anger in the community about connections between Steve Levy and the current climate of intolerance. I am glad to know that there are people who want to address racial tensions on Long Island from all directions – political, spiritual, educational, and activist angles. I think that now that Marcelo Lucero has been properly buried, people are ready to be even more pointed in their discussions about justice.

Our sign said “Teach peace.” We made that one for counter-military recruiting demos, and it comes in handy a lot. Nadia from Workplace Project had a “matching sign.” Her sign tonight happened to say “Ignorance = hate.” There were chants in English and Spanish. And, I only understood some of the Spanish. (I took a little Spanish in high school and college.) “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.” Which is fun to say in Spanish, “justicia” (hoo-steec-i-ya) and “ahora” (ah-or-a). It brought tears to my eyes to chant the assertion: Marcelo Lucero – presente. Also, there was a long chant in Spanish, the only part that I got was telling Steve Levy to listen. Which I think is profound, because if Steve Levy would start listening, the problems would start being solved. “Levy, escucha…”

There were many police cars escorting us. They seemed helpful and there were not any incidents. Having them there helped us walk in the street, and proceed through the lights without slowing down in the freezing cold. There was a News12 camera there. But, we have not seen any coverage from them so far. Also, people who I think were with our group taking photos, so maybe those will turn up on line.

When we arrived at Town Hall, there were huge speakers waiting. And, we heard in a post at Long Island Wins that there were spirited speeches. We had to turn around and go back to our car right away. And, we didn’t even take any photos or videos, because it was so cold, it was hard to think of anything but keeping your mittens on tight. (Our friend Jeff came without any gloves or mittens, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has frostbite.)

The next action is a rally planned for Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 8:30 in the morning at the Suffolk Legislature.

There is a post about the Hempstead rally at Long Island Wins. That web-site is also has action alerts, sample letters to public officials, and more information about upcoming rallies.

One Response

  1. Send me an e-mail adress and I’ll send you photos from Hempstead Marcelo Lucero March, to post in this blog Saul Linares Workplace Proyect

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