BAY RIDGE — As thousands marched over the Brooklyn Bridge in the big Solidarity rally, over 250 residents of Bay Ridge linked hands along 3rd Avenue and made it clear yesterday – hate has no home here, nor anywhere else. The Bay Ridge rally was organized in response to the appearance of disturbing white supremacist and Neo-Nazi recruitment materials posted around the neighborhood last Thursday, as well as recent incidents of anti-Semitic violence.
Another white supremacist banner spotted in Bay Ridge.
What the actual F!
Do not pass GO.
Do not collect $200.
You are not welcome here.
We will not be cowered or made afraid by your vile, hate-filled filth. pic.twitter.com/sMbeVDC1AA
— Andrew Gounardes (@agounardes) January 4, 2020
They bore handmade signs with anti-hate messages like “Nazis Are Not patriots,” “Immigrants Welcome and Valued Here,” and “Hate Has No Haven Here.” The 3rd Avenue spot was chosen based on proximity to the location of one of the posters, and participants formed a human chain to symbolize their commitment to protecting their neighbors.
Holding hands, participants chanted “Nazis are not welcome here – no hate, no fear!” among other anti-hate messages.
Senator Andrew Gounardes came to show his support, after tweeting his condemnation of the recent signage, “You are not welcome here. We will not be cowered or made afraid by your vile, hate-filled filth.”
Council Member for the 43rd Council District Justin Brannan also tweeted a sizzle reel of the perpetrators mounting their signage in Bay Ridge, Park Slope, and Sunset Park, with the demand “GTFOH.”
Bay Ridge resident Noah Abraham Weston first alerted the community to the threat when he tweeted a photo of one of the recruitment flyers on Thursday.
BAY RIDGE: a friend just saw this neo-Nazi poster on 86th between 3rd and 4th so PLEASE be alert to this or any other white nationalist material posted in the neighborhood. And above all stay SAFE.
cc: @JustinBrannan @agounardes @FrontusforNY pic.twitter.com/G0VNoUwest
— ????? (@soulkhan) January 2, 2020
While the event organizers chose not to name the group responsible for the flyers, so as not to provide them with “further recruitment reach,” they specified that the flyers call for “American Fascism” and believe only those of European descent to be “true” Americans.
Organizers were heartened by the event’s turnout, which was planned in just two days. “It really shows that the good people in our neighborhood far outnumber the bad,” Alan Holt, member of Fight Back Bay Ridge, the group who co-organized the rally, said. “The response to the white nationalist threat was immediate and vociferous.”
Mallory McMahon, active member of Fight Back Bay Ridge, wrote in an email to Bklyner that “It is our aim to send a clear message to our neighbors that hate and white supremacy have no place in Bay Ridge, and that the community stands in support of its most marginalized members.”
The rally was co-sponsored by: The Arab-American Association of New York; Arab Women’s Voice; Bay Ridge Democrats; Bay Ridge for Social Justice; Democratic Socialists of America NYC; Fight Back Bay Ridge; Gravesend Brooklyn Progressives; Indivisible Nation BK; Mexican-American Movement; South Brooklyn Progressive Network; South Brooklyn Progressive Resistance; South Brooklyn DSA; South Central Brooklyn United for Progress; Take on Hate; and the Yemeni American Merchants Association.