Great Neck BLM Protest Met with Opposition


Protesters march through the streets of Great Neck while police cars clear the road. (Photo credit: Lauren Yu)

Great Neck residents gathered in Grace Avenue Park this past Sunday for “GN Talks Systemic Racism,” an event dedicated to educating and speaking out about systemic racism. Protesters at the event were met with opposition from a small group of counter protesters. 

The event, organized by students from Great Neck North and South High, marks the third gathering in Great Neck in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

To begin the rally, students put on dancing and singing performances. The performances were followed by an education circle, which featured speeches about police brutality and how systemic racism impacts education and housing on Long Island. 

During the education circle, two Great Neck residents carrying signs that read “Keep Police Funded” interrupted the speeches, asking to use the megaphone. Since the education circle welcomed opposing opinions, the two residents were given the opportunity to speak to the crowd and voice their opinions. However, the situation quickly turned into an argument between the two residents and multiple students, as well as several adults who supported the students. Three police officers stood nearby but did not interfere.

“If you like socialists, go back to Iran,” one counter protester said. “Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization that hates Jews and cops. Shame on Jews.”

When asked to be interviewed, the counter protesters declined to respond or give their names. 

Once the situation was diffused, the speeches continued while students made posters. Around 4:30 p.m., over 20 protesters began their march through Great Neck while police officers cleared the road. The march lasted about 40 minutes and ended in Grace Avenue Park, where a few more speeches were given before the event ended.


View the photo gallery below to see more photos from the event.