After spontaneous protests at JFK on Saturday and a large planned rally at Battery Park Sunday, Monday’s Tompkins Square rally was a relatively tame affair — but was still a defiant protest by hundreds of lower east siders in a location of significance to waves of immigrants and various resistance movements.
Speakers included local elected officials — Councilmembers Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez (who together represent East River Coop); Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Public Advocate Tish James; and District Leaders Carlina Rivera and Anthony Feliciano. Religious leaders from east village churches, synagogues, and mosques also gave moving testimonials to the neighborhood’s history with immigrant communities, refugees, and outsiders.
Someone also shared with me today a post from the beautiful Museum at Eldridge Street housed in the old Eldridge Street Synagogue. It’s a statement of support for immigrants and refugees, as well as reaffirmation of the importance of immigration to the LES: “Our gateway Lower East Side neighborhood — once home to the largest Jewish community in the world — is today a part of a vibrant Chinatown.”