Over 2,500 protestors of different races, religions and backgrounds filled the streets in Mineola to share how they feel about recent anti-semitic attacks across New York and New Jersey on Sunday.
Around 109 organizations and 37 politicians rallied including Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Senator Chuck Schumer, Attorney General Letitia James, Congressman Tom Suozzi, Congressman Peter King and Congressman Kathleen Rice.
Back in November, swastikas in graffiti were found sprayed across The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove. There was also another incident in which signs were defaced and a racial slur was written on a memorial to the million and a half children who died during the Holocaust.
In Monsey, New York, five people were stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration. In Jersey City, a gunman targeted a kosher grocery store killing four people. In Brooklyn, a woman was attacked and had racial slurs hurled at her while walking with her four-year-old son.
According to the FBI, in 2017 anti-Semitic hate crimes hit a seven-year high, 37% increase with 938 total hate crimes reported. Since then, hate crimes have decreased to 835 in 2018, but Long Islanders in attendance want to do more to combat these crimes.
The purpose of the march was to do this by presenting a united front. It was organized by the newly created coalition formed by Nassau and Suffolk County leaders.
“We organized this march to send a clear message in one voice,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Long Islanders of all faiths and backgrounds stand united with our Jewish community and against Anti-Semitism.”
The goal of the task force is to report and investigate hate crimes and educate the youth on the history of discrimination. This march acted as the kickoff for the work the coalition plans on doing.
“My grandfather Boris is a refugee from the Holocaust,” said Nassau County Legislator Joshua A. Lafazan. “My family knows all too well the consequences that anti-Semitism and hatred can have when these forces of evil go unchecked. It is up to all of us to be relentless and fearless in our efforts to ensure that hatred never has a safe harbor in Nassau County or anywhere else.”