August 18, by Nathaly Pesantez
A rally denouncing neo-Nazism and white supremacy took place at McGolrick Park Friday afternoon, which featured speakers from organizing parties and approximately 50 people in attendance.
The rally, called “Brooklyn Stands Against Nazis, Alt-Right, & Proud Boys” began at around 1 p.m. at the park, and was organized by six groups, including Brooklyn for Bernie Sanders, Millennials for Revolution, and Marc Fliedner, a candidate for Brooklyn District Attorney.
The event was organized in light of the violent events in Charlottesville, Va., along with news of a Nazi propaganda business card found on a Greenpoint street earlier this week, and the more recent news of swastikas made of duct-tape found on the park’s tables.
Kenneth Shelton Jr., an activist on behalf of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, spoke to the Greenpoint crowd about denouncing shows of racism, white supremacy, and oppression, and encouraged people to go further than attending rallies.
“We have to say no to those white supremacists,” Shelton said.
Fliedner said it was important to organize in Greenpoint, and to do so quickly, given recent events nationwide and locally.
“I got word that there were seeds of neo-Nazi and white supremacist energy coming to Brooklyn, and I felt we needed to calmly spread the word,” Fliedner said. “It’s important to know where we stand.”
Among the crowd was Cindy Wheeler, a 53-year-old Greenpointer of 20 years who went to the event in support of her neighborhood.
“Anything I can do right now to show support against white supremacy,” Wheeler said. “A lot of people also think it’s a southern problem, but it’s not.”
Another attendee, 58-year-old Alice Cohen, said racism is a universal problem, and wanted to denounce the concerning activity in the neighborhood. “It’s an important call, and I’m another body supporting it,” she said.
McGolrick Park will also be the site of another rally on Aug. 21, prompted by the swastikas found at the park, with Assemblymemebr Joseph Lentol attending.