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Far-right group marched in Rockville Centre without permit, mayor says

Members of the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys

Members of the neo-fascist group the Proud Boys march through Rockville Centre on Saturday. Credit: Facebook/Senator Todd Kaminsky

Members of a neo-facist group who marched through Rockville Centre on Saturday, some flashing white power hand signals, did so without a permit, the village mayor said Sunday.

The protest by the Proud Boys — designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — was "mostly orderly" and lasted less than an hour, Mayor Francis X. Murray said in a statement posted to the village’s social media channels Sunday.

"Our Village is made up of decent, law abiding residents that denounce groups that spread hate and seek to divide us," Murray said. "I’m confident and grateful that extremist groups, like the Proud Boys, won’t find support from me or our community."

The organizers "never sought a permit," he added.

Murray, who on Saturday said he was unaware of the demonstration or the group that organized it, could not immediately be reached for further comment on Sunday.

Members of the mostly male group marched down Sunrise Highway, waving American flags and "Don’t Tread on Me" flags and playing music from the back of a pickup truck. Several members also made a hand gesture for white power and raised arms in a Nazi-style salute.

Members and supporters of the Proud Boys have pleaded guilty to charges related to storming the United States Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump.

On Saturday, some members, wearing bandannas over their faces, moved to the downtown business district on Park Avenue, where they entered stores, shouted slogans and handed out flyers. Rockville Centre police were stationed on the street, monitoring the demonstrators and controlling traffic. Police could not be reached for comment on Saturday or Sunday.

Members of the group marched through other Long Island hamlets last month.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist organizations, has described the group as denying any association with the "alt-right" movement, but noted it has shown a history of white nationalism.

The Law Center said there is a Long Island chapter based in St. James.

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