JAMAICA PLAIN (CBS) – A planned silent vigil outside the Civil War statue in Jamaica Plain extended for an extra hour as protesters marched to the District E-13 Boston Police Headquarters and peacefully discussed action for the future.
After protesters held signs, cheered, and gained support from honking passing cars, more than 1,000 people marched a mile down to the police precinct.
There, they staged a “die in” for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor the amount of time George Floyd laid on the ground under an officer’s knee in Minneapolis.
Then, three different protesters captivated the crowd with speeches about inequality and action for the future. One woman told the crowd to vote, and to educate themselves on racism through books, not Instagram. “You can be part of the change!” she called to police officers, to cheers from the crowd.
Alaina Geary, a black surgical resident at Boston Medical Center, was at the protest because she says she sees racial inequality in the health care system every day. “How could I not be here?” she said. “I am weary, I’ve been weary, and this [week] just brings it to a whole new level.”
Arianna Slotnick, a college student from upstate New York, was at the protest with a sign that read “Black Bodies Are Not a Commodity.”
“They’re only seen as property, they’re only seen as entertainment,” Slotnick said. “People love black culture not black people, and I’m tired of it.”
Others were there for their kids. James, who asked to only be identified by his first name, said his children often ask him, “Am I next?”
You “feel like you are powerless,” he said. “Like you can’t defend your own kids.”
At the end of the protest, one woman made the entire crowd take out their cell phones and take down the number for Boston Police Community Engagement Bureau, calling on them to engage with local law enforcement.