9/11 march held on Long Island despite village's order banning parades

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Sunday, September 13, 2020
LI 9/11 march held despite village's ban on parades
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A man from Long Island moved ahead with a 9/11 march despite the town's order to ban all parades due to COVID-19.

PORT JEFFERSON, Long Island (WABC) -- A man from Long Island moved ahead with a 9/11 march despite the town's order to ban all parades due to COVID-19.

Officials in the Village of Port Jefferson have banned all parades in the village due to coronavirus concerns.

On Saturday, over 100 people marched from the Port Jefferson LIRR station to the 9/11 Memorial on Main St.

The march was spread out in order to comply with social distancing. Most attendees also wore masks.

The names of residents from the Town of Brookhaven who were killed in the World Trade Center attacks were read off after a prayer and the National Anthem.

James Robitsek said he was inspired to organize the march when he saw how many 9/11 events were being cancelled this year.

He says he submitted an application August 25 to the Village, requesting to hold the march.

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The next day, he received a denial letter informing him the Village enacted an executive order July 30, which mandates that "any application to conduct a march and/or parade within the Village of Port Jefferson cannot be processed, nor can the requested permit be issued."

The executive order from July 30 signed by Mayor Margot Garant said, "the Village is obligated to preserve public health in the reduction of mass gatherings and to protect downtown businesses from repeated and disruptive street closures."

It further states, "licenses for parades, or amusements or entertainments that promote mass gatherings in the excess of the Governor's Emergency Order is hereby suspended."

Robitsek is with Setauket Patriots, an online pro-Trump, conservative group. He said the march has nothing to do with politics and is only meant to honor the lives lost on 9/11.

Robitsek said he told attendees to leave political signs and paraphernalia at home.


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