About 60 people gathered Monday night at the gazebo in the Peconic Riverfront Park to express solidarity against the white supremacy and violence that has taken place in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A group of local residents, including Angela DeVito, Catherine Kent, Michele Lynch and Sister Margaret Smyth, organized the event.
“I felt we needed to do something to start a dialogue,” Ms. DeVito said. “We hope to get people in Riverhead to intervene and help erase racism wherever we see it.”
Sister Smyth read a letter from the Dominican Sisters, which she said was sent to Washington D.C.
“Dominican Sisters — 6,000 of us — join our voices as human beings and Americans to say we are deeply grieved, outraged and troubled by the government’s most recent actions, which clearly demonstrate that we are leading our country down a path of increasing hatred and violence,” she said. “Hate speech is nothing more than hate.”
Susan Dingle and Robert “Bubbie” Brown recited poems they wrote and sang “This Land is Your Land” and “This Little Light of Mine” along with the crowd.
“The turnout was fantastic,” Ms. Lynch said. “The community really needed to bring everyone together and it’s great to see so many people come.”
Connie Lassandro, chairperson of the Riverhead Town Anti-Bias Task Force, said the event stood for unity, love and friendship.
“To speak out against hatred and violence, we should all be standing together,” she said.