About 40 people stood in front of Herrick Park in East Hampton Village on Sunday afternoon holding signs and chanting slogans in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The group of both white and black residents from East Hampton and other areas like Hampton Bays, Bridgehampton, and Riverhead, chanted “black lives matter,” “blue lives matter,” “all lives matter,” and “no justice, no peace,” in response to recent tragedies across the nation involving the deaths of black people and police officers.
“We send our condolences to the families of those who were killed,” said Vanessa Vascez-Corleone, 28, of Riverhead, who organized the rallies. “We’re not here protesting the police or anyone specific. We’re protesting racism in our country.”
A Black Lives Matter rally was held on July 10 in Riverside, and another rally was held also this past Sunday, in Bridgehampton.
The East Hampton event was organized with assistance from Village Police, who helped escort the rally participants from Herrick Park to Village Hall. They gathered at noon and walked up Newtown Lane onto Main Street to Village Hall, eventually returning to Herrick Park by about 2:30 p.m.
Village Police Chief Jerry Larsen said he met with Ms. Vascez-Corleone and her fellow organizers a week before the rally to go over specifics. The rally was originally supposed to take place in front of the Stop & Shop on Newtown Lane but, with concerns over the hot weather, Chief Larsen suggested the rally be moved to Herrick Park where trees would shade the participants.
Fuego McDaniels, 26, of East Hampton took photos and videos of the rally and posted them on social media. He said he hoped that documenting and sharing the events as much as possible would help start more conversations about the issue.
“It’s great to network here with like-minded people and I hope all of this kick-starts a serious economic debate about what’s going on for black people right now,” Mr. McDaniels said. “This is an urgent issue and the time is past due to just talk about this normally.”