About two dozen people lined up outside Sagal Meat Market on Broadway Saturday not to shop, but to send a message.
The National Action Network, a civil rights advocacy group, organized the protest after hearing what customer Demba Kane said happened during his visit to the business on January 2nd. Kane says one employee referred to him as a monkey, but said the word in Spanish. Kane believes the worker assumed he wouldn’t know what he was saying.
“He said, ‘Aqui mono.’ So I told him why did you call me monkey,” Kane said. “Mono is not good. He told me, ‘No, you don’t understand.’ I said I understand very well mono is monkey.”
Kane returned to the business a day later with a friend who videotaped his repeated attempts to get contact information for the store’s manager.
Once posted to social media, community members mobilized to make sure their voices would be heard.
On Saturday, protestors went as far as standing in front of Sagal Meat market, locking arms, and keeping any potential customers from going inside.
The NYPD would arrest four of the men and women involved.
It’s a risk protestors were aware of, as some who took part were also involved in similar protests following a physical altercation between two African American women and staff at a Flatbush nail salon last year. In that case, weeks of rallies ended with the temporary closure of the Red Apple nail salon.
We were unsuccessful in reaching the owner of Sagal Meat Market, but it won’t be too hard for locals to avoid the business. There’s another meat market across the street.