The town was informed on Sunday regarding a Flyer circulating on Social Media for a protest over the weekend. Since then, a number of rumors, hoaxes, photos of fake advertisements for paid anarchists, and false posts of looting, night time demonstrations and other fictitious posts have flooded social media, inflaming unbecoming verbal response and panic amidst a pandemic. All of the protests that have taken place in the town of the Smithtown to date have been very peaceful demonstrations.
While authorities determine the authenticity of this flyer, the Town Board with the Department of Public Safety is working in conjunction with the Suffolk County Police Department and local Fire Districts to ensure that any and all demonstrations in our community are done in a peaceful, lawful manner, ensuring the safety of all involved.
As we mourn the senseless death of George Floyd, we as a community must come together in solidarity for peace, and equality. Open a dialogue with others who may not share the same faith, race or culture as you. Be willing to listen and make connections with individuals who do not share your own point of view. This is the time when we all must rise up above the threat of violence, not through anger, but through empathy and compassion.
Since the onset of the coronavirus, the community has been fractured by fear; of invisible spores and droplets, of hugging a relative or old friend, or any physical contact for that matter. We’ve respected the Governor’s Executive Orders to stay home for the last three months. We’ve socially distanced, home schooled our children, lost livelihoods and loved ones. We’ve gone from patient and understanding to bored... to frustrated and angry. This is a natural process of the human condition. Which is why it is so important to recognize what anger can do if we do not stop to identify it, and let go of it before it becomes all consuming.
We are all grieving right now in some way or another. This is a time of mourning, a time when we should all come together in peace. Do not let gossip, or images intentionally designed to provoke hostile expression, incite panic or aggression. We as a community have always risen up to help our neighbors. This kindness is what makes Smithtown such an extraordinary place to call home.