Supporters of Latino laborers who gather at the 7-Eleven convenience store in Southampton mounted a brief counter-protest on Friday morning to a pair of men who post themselves in the store’s driveway on most mornings holding signs calling for the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Approximately 15 to 20 Latino men and women and their supporters crowded onto the small concrete island in the middle of the store’s entrance from County Road 39, the usual spot of illegal immigration protesters Tom Wedell and George John Overbeck, holding signs of their own. One of the signs read: “You get paid to hate. We get paid to work,” a reference to Mr. Wedell’s compensation from an up-Island anti-immigration group for the time he spends at the 7-Eleven.
Southampton town and village police officers were called to the scene when Mr. Wedell and Mr. Overbeck and some of the Latino protesters got into shouting matches, but police did not interfere in either group’s protest. After about an hour, the Latino protesters withdrew, leaving Mr. Wedell and Mr. Overbeck at their usual post.
“I’m still here,” Mr. Overbeck could be heard shouting to the group of laborers lingering at the opposite end of the store’s parking lot, a short time later.
“Why don’t you get a job and go to work like I do every day,” a woman shouted in response as she pulled out of the parking lot in a pickup truck bearing the emblem of a local landscaping company.