About 20 members of the far-right Proud Boys militia group interrupted the yearly tradition of supporting independent local retailers by marching through a Long Island shopping district on Small Business Saturday while flashing white power signs, entering stores, and shouting slogans.
Newsday reported on the march in the village of Rockville Centre, which is located on the South Shore of Long Island. “Members of the group marched down Sunrise Highway, waving American flags and ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags and playing music from the back of a pickup truck,” according to the report. “Some store owners appeared surprised and alarmed by the demonstration, while diners expressed concerns about the group coming to the community.”
Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky posted a video from the march on Twitter, writing: “The Neo-fascist Proud Boys marched through Rockville Centre today, close to my office. I think the latest elections emboldened them-I don’t remember this happening before. I will not be silent. Their hatred has no place here-this is not the Nassau I know. Who else will speak up?”
The Neo-fascist Proud Boys marched through Rockville Centre today, close to my office. I think the latest elections emboldened them-I don’t remember this happening before. I will not be silent. Their hatred has no place here-this is not the Nassau I know. Who else will speak up? pic.twitter.com/KNXVsQhvfR
— Todd Kaminsky (@toddkaminsky) November 27, 2021
Judy Griffin, a Democrat who represents Long Island in the New York State Assembly, said the Proud Boys did not have permits for the march and didn’t give the village notice about it, adding that the event seemed intended to disrupt Small Business Saturday. “They’re a divisive group of hate and violence,” Griffin told Newsday. “They don’t have any place here. I’m all for freedom of speech, but this group doesn’t have a very good track record and seem to come to communities to incite problems and polarize.”
It is extremely concerning that the far-right, neo-fascist Proud Boys held a march through Rockville Centre this afternoon. Organized groups that espouse violence and hate should not be welcome in our communities. pic.twitter.com/AGqaGwHsqc
— Judy Griffin (@judygriffinny) November 27, 2021
The proud boys and oath keepers are not independent groups. They’re the armed wing of the Republican Party.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) November 28, 2021