Pink Floyd's Roger Waters helps Shinnecock Nation in second billboard battle with state

The state is demanding an end to the recent construction of the second of two controversial billboards on Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays.

News 12 Staff

Feb 12, 2021, 1:10 AM

Updated 1,203 days ago


It's round two in the battle over the electronic billboards in the Hamptons, but this time a rock legend is stepping in.
It was August 2019 when the Shinnecock Indian Nation put up a billboard on Sunrise Highway in Hampton Bays, despite objections from the state. They argued it would be an eyesore and potentially distracting to drivers.
The Shinnecocks argued that they're an independent, federally recognized nation and didn't have to adhere to state laws.
The state filed suit, lost and is now appealing the ruling.
In the meantime, a second billboard on the north side of the Sunrise Highway is nearly complete.
Providing moral and financial support to the tribe's cause is Southampton resident and Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters.
"The state's legal attacks on the Shinnecock Nation trying to earn some revenue from these things so that they can feed and house and clothe and look after the welfare of the people of the Shinnecock Nation — why would the state attack that instead of support it?" says Waters.
The state is threatening to bulldoze the billboards if they are not taken down or impose a $2,000 per day fine.
Tribal activist Becky Genia says the Shinnecocks are not intimidated by the letter from the state Transportation Department threatening the fines or further action.
In a statement, the state DOT says the billboards violate state and federal law and are a danger to motorists because there are no barriers preventing vehicles from striking them.
"We got so many obstacles thrown at us in the beginning of this," says Bryan Polite, a Shinnecock tribal chairman. "But as with most things with Shinnecock, here we are, still here, moving forward and overcoming adversity."
Waters says the state is just trying to bully the Shinnecocks.
"Let it go," says Waters. "Let these people live."

More from News 12