By Anaridis Rodriguez

BOSTON (CBS) – A show of support in Dorchester for Boston Police.

“Without the rule of law, it’s not possible for black people to obtain justice,” said Azusa Christian Community Reverend Eugene Rivers.

Rev. Eugene Rivers said protests are not the same as policy change. (WBZ-TV)

After days of peaceful protests, some followed by sporadic late-night violence, members of the clergy came together Wednesday to call for order. Alongside them, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, who defended his department’s response to rioters Sunday.

“We responded for a peaceful protest of about 2,000, but 20,000 showed up. And we kept the city from burning. And people talk about righteous acts, how about saving lives?” Gross said.

Reverend Eugene Rivers added that much of the unrest was not carried out by many of the Boston residents who chose to protest.

“When these anarchists torch an innocent police car, they should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as would obviously be the case if ‘black Kareem’ were caught committing the same crime,” Rivers said.

He urged demonstrators turn their message into action. “Protest is good, but protest does not produce policies,” said Rivers. “Protest is good, but protest is not a program.”

Monica Cannon-Grant is a community activist and one of the organizers of Tuesday’s rally at Franklin Park. She says the demonstration was a call to consciousness and evoked a need for action.

“Not only did we organize 45,000 people, but we instructed all those people to help us promote the legislation that we’re working on,” said Cannon-Grant. “We had a peaceful protest, we mobilized people toward tangible action and now the work continues to go on in multiple panels and conversations pushing that legislation so that it becomes federal law. That’s how you actually get things done.”

Anaridis Rodriguez

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