(East Haven) Due to numerous complaints of harassment against people of color by the East Haven Police Department, over 130 Connecticut residents gathered together Saturday afternoon on Main Street to demand justice and an end to racial profiling and border patrols*. Organized by members of Unidad Latina en Accion, participants marched peacefully in 90 degree heat, one mile down Main Street to the center of town. Along the way, black, brown & white marchers from across CT united together and chanted, “no justice, no peace” and “hey hey, ho-ho, these racist cops have got to go” to the beat of make-shift drums. As the march approached the center of town, the group was met by several members of the Massachusetts based white supremacist group, New England White Pride. The police barely provided a buffer between the two groups and tensions were rising. A shouting match ensued and soon escalated into a fight between one of the marchers, and a white supremacist from New Haven. Both parties were arrested by police after the brief scuffle, and the march continued to the town green where several speakers spoke about the need to stand together against injustice wherever it shows.
In addition to the neo-nazis, 40 or so town residents also organized a counter-protest across the street from the town green in support of the East Haven police. Some of the residents tried to distance themselves from the racists by telling reporters that “this isn’t about racism”, but at the same time were screaming “go back to where you came from” at the marchers. And one visibly angered counter-protester even told a women carrying a Puerto Rican flag to “shove it where the sun don’t shine”. Several marchers still angered by the presence of the white supremacists, continued to shout back and forth to the chagrin of the “peace marshals” charged with keeping things from getting confrontational. Around 2pm, the protesters walked back past the white supremacists without incident, the one mile to hear a final speech by Emma Jones, the mother of Malik Jones who was needlessly gunned down by East Haven police in 1997 and has been fighting for racial justice ever since. Emma thanked the marchers for keeping the memory of her son alive by continuing to speak out against police violence. She also spoke about how “all oppressions are linked” and told the crowd that “we have to make a firm commitment, that we are united” in the face of those that would try to divide us. And finally, after raising about $450, several friends and family of the marcher that was arrested earlier, headed to the police station in a show of jail solidarity.
*Several residents have expressed concern that when crossing over the border between New Haven and East Haven, they are stopped by police. Because while New Haven police are not allowed to inquire about immigration status, East Haven police do not have that restriction.
To get involved or for more info, contact: Unidad Latina at 203-606-3484 or via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com