Hundreds of activists with the Black Lives Matter movement have taken into the streets of New York City to protest a surge in racist attacks and police violence against African-Americans.
The protesters marched to the downtown area of Westhampton Beach on Sunday, carrying posters that had messages of unity and peace written on them.
Outraged by the recent shooting deaths of unarmed black individuals at the hands of white police officers, the activists demanded justice and urged government officials to help end discrimination against racial minorities.
They also asked the rest of Americans to break their silence on the issue and push for a fair society
The use of excessive force by law enforcement has become the focus of national debate in America, particularly over high-profile killings of African-Americans by mainly white officers during the last several years.
Last year, US
police killed over 1,150 people in 2015, with the largest police departments disproportionately killing at least 321 African-Americans.
Racist attacks against minorities in the US have also skyrocketed after a heated primary race for the White House, where nearly all candidates pledged stricter law enforcement against minorities, a policy that gave rise to white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klax Klan.
Supporters of the KKK group had threatened to violently crash Sunday’s rally, which was closely monitored by a relatively large number of police officers.
Protesters holding anti-KKK signs
Gary Monker, the so-called Exalted Cyclops Chief Officer of the notorious group’s New York chapter, indicated earlier this week that they were preparing to stage a counter-protest. The group was a no-show on Sunday.
The demonstrators, however, ignored the KKK threats while chanting slogans like “’KKK, no way,” and “KKK, not Okay.” In reaction to KKK’s failure, Willie Jenkins, a BLM activist, told Patch.com that “hate did not win today.”
According to Gallup’s Minority Rights and Relations survey released Wednesday, 61 percent of US adults think racism against African Americans is widespread.