North Shore residents protest Trump in the spirit of King

North Shore residents protest Trump in the spirit of King
Residents briefly held up signs protesting Trump administration policies on Martin Luther King's birthday, saying things like "We are all immigrants" and "The opposite of love is not hate... It's indifference." (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

More than 20 people gathered to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s stances and recent comments on immigration on Martin Luther King’s 89th birthday, in what some organizers said was done in the spirit of the late civil rights leader.

People ranging from children to grandparents held signs expressing support for immigrants, against policies of the Trump administration and paying tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. through quotes denouncing injustice, drawing some honks of support from people driving along Middle Neck Road.

The protest, organized by North Shore Action Group, follows Donald Trump reportedly referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as “shithole countries,” according to the Washington Post, and asking why the United States couldn’t have more immigrants from places “like Norway.”

It also comes as Congress wrangles over possible legislation for people brought to the United States illegally as children.

They were previously protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, before the Trump administration decided to rescind it in September and give Congress six months to act.

“North Shore Action condemns the language used by the President, as well as the closing of our borders to immigrants based on offensive categories such as religion, race, political or economic situations,” the group said in an email with a subject line quoting Martin Luther King Jr. “We cannot stay silent when leaders use racist and divisive language.”

The previous political demonstration in Great Neck occurred following events in Charlottesville, where white supremacists protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue clashed with counter-protestors. One, Heather Hyer, died after white supremacist James Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd.

David Zielenziger, who organized that event and attended this one, said “it was time” for another demonstration because of Trump’s recent remarks.

When asked what he believed King, who he saw when protesting the Vietnam War in 1967, might have said, Zielenziger referred to King’s ideas of “love your enemy” and non-violent protests.

“I think King would say we’ve got to go to the streets and not be silent,” Zielenziger said. “Silence in the face of overt racism is wrong. It’s outrageous.”

Steven Weinberg, the mayor of Thomaston, attended the event with his two sons. He said he came to protest some of the Trump administration’s policies, including their reported willingness to divide families to discourage illegal immigration, and teach his sons democratic values.

“I never thought I would see a time in our country where I would have to say, ‘what did I do when that occurred,’ and this is that time,” Weinberg said. “When you hear hatred, racist remarks, divisiveness, erosion of the rule of law, rules and norms of our democracy, you have to stand up and speak out.”

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here