About 50 men, women and children gathered Saturday morning at the U.S. Post Offices in Greenport and Aquebogue to show support for the institution and to denounce efforts by the Trump administration critics say are meant to hinder its ability to handle millions of mail-in ballots for the fall election.
Chanting and waving signs, the group gathered at around 11 a.m. and stayed until noon, when they decamped for some to participate in a similar protest at the Aquebogue post office.
Speaking for the group, Larrin Gerard of Aquebogue, said she was there to both show her support for the postal service, but also to honor her father, who drove a delivery truck for the post office.
“I’m representing the post office, but also my family and what it means to me,” she said. “We need this institution desperately.”
She said the removal of hundreds of large-scale sorting machines from offices across the country, along with the removal of many neighborhood mailboxes, “is clearly an effort to be ahead of the election and influence the outcome.
“But the damage is already done,” she said. “They could have waited until after the election to make these moves, but they didn’t. This is a direct attack on the American people.”
Carrying signs that read “Stop Trump’s Attack On Our Mail,” “Save Postal Workers,” “Dump Trump” and dozens of others, the group chanted support for the postal service and waved at dozens of cars that honked in support. The most popular chant seemed to be, “Tell me what democracy looks like,” and the refrain by the protesters, “This is what democracy looks like.”
Among the protesters was Sarah Burnes of Orient. She wore a tall makeshift hat with the words Register to Vote on it and a mask with the word VOTE in bold letters across it.
“We’re trying to save the post office,” she said, as car after car, and even lines of motorcycle riders honked in support in front of her. “The people who want to cut resources to the post office are trying to steal the election. It’s plain as day. Only people in the streets will stop it.”
A similar event was held later Saturday in Aquebogue, attracting more than a half-dozen additional protestors.
Anne Rodriguez of Aquebogue stood with a sign that said “Save the USPS,” waving to cars honking their horns in support as they crept by heading East.
Ms. Rodriguez recalled participating in anti Vietnam war protests in the 60s— and never imagined she’d have to rally to save an institution like the post office.
“Why is it happening now, in terms of the election? It’s really scary,” she said, adding that many senior citizens depend on the post office. “It’s their lifeline.”
Angela De Vito of South Jamesport, a former Democratic nominee for town supervisor called postal service cuts “politically motivated.”
“It just seems to be a way to control for people who want to vote by mail who are afraid to go to the polling places,” she said in reference to mail-in voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Steve Kramer of Riverhead said the post office is mandated in our constitution—and much is at stake.
“Too many citizens depend on the post office for everything: banking, medicines,” he said. “Everything is getting shipped nowadays. It’s critical infrastructure.”