By Libby McInerny. Libby is Director of Strategic Partnerships and Campaign Development for Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness.  She served as a key team member on the original 1995 and 1996 Not In Our Town campaigns.

Why You Should Watch This:

The rise of anti-immigrant violence is an urgent global problem threatening the fabric of community life everywhere, creating complex new challenges—and it is most intensely fought at the local level.

In 2008, a series of attacks by a group of seven local teenagers against Latino residents of Patchogue, NY ended with the killing of 37-year-old resident Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived in the town for 13 years. Tonight, PBS will broadcast Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness which follows Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri, Joselo Lucero (the victim’s brother), community leaders, residents and students as they address the underlying causes of the violence, work to heal divisions, and take steps to ensure everyone in their Long Island community will be safe and respected.

The Not In Our Town (NIOT) movement to fight hate launched in 1995 with a PBS documentary that told the story of Billings, Montana residents who joined together to respond to a series of hate crimes in their town. NIOT set out to find a story of action and leadership to serve as a model for people confronting these new challenges. “Light in the Darkness” is that story.

This trailer introduces a few of the Patchogue residents featured in the documentary and poses the essential question: “If this were your town, what would you do?”

Video Facts:

  • Title:  Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness
  • National PBS Broadcast: September 21, 2011- Check local listings.
  • Length: 1 hour
  • Who made it: Not In Our Town/The Working Group, Patrice O’Neill, Director
  • Location: Oakland, CA, USA
  • Human Rights Issues: Fighting Hate & Promoting Safe, Inclusive Communities


The Light in the Darkness film and campaign are meant to provide a blueprint for people who want to do somethingbefore intolerance turns to violence. Tonight’s broadcast anchors the National Week of Action, September 18-24, which kicks off a multi-year national engagement campaign to help communities respond to and prevent anti-immigrant violence and hate crimes targeting any population.

Primary Audience:                                                         

Not In Our Town seeks to connect with the broadest audience possible, so the film intentionally highlights a diverse range of Patchogue residents who took action after Lucero’s murder. Civic leaders, the victim’s brother, students, local police officers, faith leaders, librarians, a radio DJ, and a group of quilters provide specific examples of how everyday people can stand up and take a leadership role to effect change in their own communities and schools.


The message of this film and the ongoing Not In Our Town project is: Hate is a community challenge, not simply a criminal issue. Everyday people must have a voice in their communities, and stand together to protect the rights and safety of all residents.

Join the Discussion:

On the NIOT website, viewers can access material for follow-up, including “Six Ways to Take Action”  and a discussion guide. You can also organize screenings in your own community with our screening kit or find locations where the film is being screened. Moreover, there are additional links that offer action ideas such as non-violent rallies, government resolutions, and community-building projects, including library reading groups.

One thought on “Video Advocacy Example: Not In Our Town – Light in the Darkness

  1. In Violation of Federal and State law, Pontieri and Patchogue Village has run a “fake ” police department. Village personnel was illegally impersonating peace officers, illegally carring firearms and illegally training its personnel for since 1994. In the context of our small Village it is a Bernie Medoff size fraud involving an estimated 8.5 million dollars in tainted tickets, about 2 million dollars in improper salaries(owed to the taxpayers), attacks against minorities, immigrants and Latinos, the molestation of women motorists, the death of fake police officer Felice Taldone and possibly the death of Marcello Lucero.

    All this was done with the tacit blessing of the Suffolk Police and the District attorneys office. It is hard to believe that this happened in Patchgoue and not Mississippi or Alabama or somewhere else in the deep south. What you are about to hear is so shocking that I do not expect you to believe it without painstaking proof, which at this point after years of research I have cobbled together. The reason why you have not heard this before is not because of the lack of factual support it is because Suffolk county Police and the District Attorneys office has done everything in its their power to cover up the crimes that obviously affect the credibility of Suffolk county government and so many careers. The notable Careers that will be effected by this COLOSSAL deception, fraud and abuse of public trust are District Attorneys Saboto, Assistant district Attorney Mcfartland, Richard Dormer, Mayor Pontieri, Ihne, Village Attorney’s Brian Egan and Lee Snead.”

    The Village of Patchogue created a fake policedepartment,corrupting many aspects of Government in order to undermine theminority population of Patchogue and drive the immigrants out. Thecorruption of the Village of Patchogue’s constabulary coincides withits redevelopment. The “shock and awe” of an unlawful illegallyarmedpolice force was particularly effective in pushing undesirables out thevillage’s boundaries. The threat of force coerced residents to give uptheir rights, which would have been protected under New York State andSuffolk County laws. Residents were faced with fines, arrests,unwarranted inspections, harassment, and threats of assault withillegal firearms.
    Proof and admissions the Constables were volatile of Suffolk County law.

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