The student based and led anti-racism group, East End Against Hate (EEAH), that "aims to educate the community on racial injustices," has organized another peaceful protest for Friday, June 19, at the Henry "Hank" Zebrowski Memorial Soccer Field on South Erie Street in Montauk, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Lola Lama is a team member of EEAH and relayed the mission of the organization to be, "Through our actions we hope to push forward local, state, and national legislation to dismantle the systemic racism deeply embedded in our country. We hope to educate those in our community and encourage positive utilization of the innate privilege many of us hold."
Further, "We are disgusted and outraged by the persistent and radical marginalization, police brutality, and discrimination towards the black community. These injustices have been prominent in our culture for too long. We require in-depth criminal justice reform, not just in the country, but here on the East End."
This gathering follows the group's recent demonstration in Sag Harbor on June 5 where more than 300 demonstrators peacefully showed their solidarity in the "Fight for racial equality and an end to police brutality," as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We especially want to reach those who feel 'unaffected' by these recent murders. White, wealthy, cis-gendered, and straight people are the ones that society seems to listen to the most, so speak up, and speak out. Amplify, prioritize, and uplift the voices of BIPOC (black, indigenous people of color). Listen to them and learn from them, beginning at home. This will not be a one-time event, we are committed to long-term, multi-faceted change. It's time for white people to dismantle the system they have created," Lama conveyed.
The significance of the June 19 date should not go unnoted as well. Known as "Juneteenth" in recognition of June 19,1865. An unofficial U.S. but official Texas state holiday, the date is celebrated annually whereby enslaved blacks were emancipated under federal orders in Galveston, Texas. Texas being the last state of enslaved African-Americans.
EEAH organizers and participants representing a demographic of mostly 20- somethings, teens and college students, along with those possessed with any social and cultural conscience, have brought a new and refreshing focus to the deplorable racism that exists in our country, and the battles between police and citizens.
Lama further elaborated, "We are a student-based organization that aims to educate our community on the racist injustices we face together. We organized the protest at Sag Harbor on June 5, and are now organizing the upcoming protest in Montauk this Friday. We encourage everyone to bring masks, signs, and to comply with all social distancing requirements. In this protest, we hope to address the violent acts of racism that have transpired in recent weeks and to educate those who have either chosen to stay silent or who have actively participated in the spread of discrimination. We have peaceful intentions and will not tolerate aggression nor destruction."
Global protests that have been on-going for more than three weeks now in response to the death of George Floyd and others, "I can't breathe" has become this generation's "war" cry of a collective endeavor that hopefully will achieve real and tangible results against the shame of racism that will endure far longer than eight minutes and 46 seconds.
As Lama revealed her inspired conviction attributed to Angela Y. Davis, "I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept," we might remember the words
of another generation's voice and activist, John Lennon
- "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
For more information about East End Against Hate, go to Instagram.com.
Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.