Black Lives Matter Rally Slated for Monday in Montauk

Montauk Main Street was shut down for a peaceful demonstration held on June 19. Independent/T.E. McMorrow
Montauk Main Street was shut down for a peaceful demonstration held on June 19. Independent/T.E. McMorrow

For the second time in less than a month, a demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement will be held in downtown Montauk. The upcoming demonstration is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 6, at 3 PM.

Supporters will gather at Kirk Park on the western edge of downtown Montauk. At 3:30, the group will march from Kirk Park east on Main Street, ending on the green at Carl Fisher Plaza.

There, five speakers are scheduled to address the crowd, the first one being Tanish Lindsay, who lives in Montauk. Lindsay, 29, was also one of the organizers of the June 19 rally, as was Ashley Peters, who is also slated to speak. Peters is an East Hampton resident and is a member of the graduating class of East Hampton High School 2020.

The date of the previous demonstration was of significance: June 19 is known as Juneteenth Day, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery. That demonstration drew between 200 and 250 people. Organizers are hoping for an even larger turnout this time.

Also slated to speak are two activists with Bridgehampton roots, Dr. Travis Wilkins, who is now a minister and middle-school teacher in Virginia, and Willie Jenkins, an activist and a local leader of the BLM movement.

Another speaker scheduled for that day is Rachelle Hruska, a new media entrepreneur who has a home in Montauk.

At some point during the demonstration, it is likely that the group will go to the ground, a signature moment during these demonstrations. Some will lie face down on the ground, while others will take a knee. They remain in this position in silence for 8:46 seconds, the length of time a white police officer pressed his knee on the back of the neck of George Floyd, leading to his death on May 25 in Minneapolis. His death sparked civil unrest and protests across the nation.

In addition to the Montauk protest on June 19, marches have been been held throughout the East End, including in Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Riverhead, Southampton, Westhampton, Hampton Bays, and Shelter Island. On June 5, the surfing community gathered at Ditch Plains as part of “Solidarity in Surf,” a worldwide protest paddle out to remember George Floyd and all those who lost their lives to police brutality.

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