Hundreds of people across the country held “Back the Blue” rallies over Labor Day weekend to show their support for law enforcement.
The East Hampton Star reported that hundreds of people in Long Island, New York, gathered in Southampton Village Saturday morning to support the police, other law enforcement, and the armed services.
They showed up at Agawam Park at 11 a.m. wearing Blue Lives Matter T-shirts, waving American flags, and marching through the village before making their way back to the park. Nearly 100 bikers from the Red Knights Firefighter Motorcycle Club showed up to the rally.
“I support the police all the way!” said Robyn Lewis of East Quogue. “We need law and order in this country. The police support us in tragedy and in times of need. I can’t stand them being defunded. They need us to support them.”
Later in the afternoon, counterprotesters with the Black Lives Still Matter rally gathered in response to the morning’s rally.
On Sunday morning, Johnson City, Tennessee, held a “Back the Blue” rally, where dozens were in attendance to show their support for the police and first responders.
WYCB reported that a group called “Patriots United” congregated outside the Johnson City Police Department, holding flags and signs that read, “Support our officers.”
“We want to be here close to where we can let the officers know when they come back, we’ve got their back. We love them, we appreciate them,” William Grant, a leader of the Patriots United group, said. “They have families who they’d like to go home to. We want them to be able to do their job and then go home safely.”
There were several counterprotesters across the street for that rally as well, who held up signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and chanted “No Justice, No Peace.”
One “Back the Blue” rally coincided with a “Black Lives Matter” protest in Washington on Sunday, causing the police to stand in the middle of the two groups to keep them separated, KING reported.
By 3:30 p.m., Washington State Patrol’s rapid response team cemented a line between the two groups in full riot gear and only arrested one person by the end of the day.
“Back the Blue” events are part of an Act for America grassroots campaign that helps local communities organize events to support their local law enforcement agencies.