On Saturday, November 14, Rockaway residents and others walked through the streets of Belle Harbor in a Black Lives Matter art march. Accompanied by a brass band, the group called Your Friendly Anti-Racist Neighbors danced and celebrated unabashedly in solidarity and support of Black lives.
In a statement, the group said, “While the response to our march was overwhelmingly positive, there was some negativity. We got a few middle fingers and were called ‘Communists.’ One of our marchers recognized one of these community members and when confronted, he spewed anti-Semitic hatred. Such ugliness from our neighbors is the reason we organized this action.
“In spite of these ignorant, hateful remarks, we remained committed to positivity. Because of the uncommon sight and sound of a brass band in our suburban neighborhood, anyone who was home at the time saw us and was invited to join. We handed out flowers to all, including those who expressed they were not in support or those hesitant to engage. We danced through the neighborhood, on the beach, down the commercial corridor of 129th Street., and over to the boardwalk. Several people left their homes to join us and we heard claps, cheers, exclamations of ‘thank you for doing this’ and ‘I didn’t realize you were out here too.’ A few people tearfully remarked on how beautiful it was. And there were those who might not agree but were still able to enjoy, recognizing that this was done out of beauty, solidarity, joy, and love.”
Photos by Argenis Apolinario.
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