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A Mass Rally in Sag for Immigrant Families

Updated: May 1, 2022

By Alex Lemonides

A march and rally on Wednesday in Sag Harbor, organized by local advocacy groups and congregations, protested the fragmentation of immigrant families at the border. It was an East End iteration of marches that took place in cities across the country on Sunday.

Protesters marched the length of Sag Harbor from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. "It's not really a normal protest," said Kathy Engel, who helped organize the event. "It's more of a celebration."

The gathering began and ended at the windmill at the foot of Long Wharf, where children and adults spoke out about the importance of family unity, songs were sung, and dances danced.

Children wore shimmering blankets, sometimes called "space blankets," in solidarity with children who are separated from their parents at the border and given similar ones for warmth.

Denise Silva-Dennis of the Shinnecock Nation led the assembled crowd — estimated at 400 by Sag Harbor Police Chief Austin McGuire — in a short Shinnecock language lesson and a pledge of interdependence. Those assembled promised to "denounce policies and behaviors that separate, and embrace justice and unity. We hereby pledge interdependence with each other and all life."

The heat was intense, and at the end, Minerva Perez, the director of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island, which helped organize the rally, jumped in the water near the windmill to cool off. After a few seconds, she was joined by children.

All Images by Durrell Godfrey

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