BROCKTON (CBS) — An anti-racism rally in the same location in Brockton at which a protest got violent earlier this week was peaceful Saturday afternoon. Organizers said they wanted the protest to remain peaceful, and that that is the most effective way to fight racism.
The youth came to the forefront, marching from police headquarters to City Hall.
“We have to speak out against these injustices,” protest organizers told the crowd.
One Brockton mother told WBZ-TV she braved the rain and lightning for her two young son.
“I’m here because I don’t want my kids to grow up afraid of the police,” she said.
Dozens of peaceful demonstrators stood fists up in silence for nearly nine minutes to honor the life of George Floyd and others killed in police custody. Although they were calm, the crowd demanded justice.
“It’s their time,” said Miles Jackson, a long-time Brockton resident and protester. “I’m 63 years old. So I was around, as a kid, when Malcolm X — he was in his 20s, 30s — and he got killed. Dr. Martin Luther King was in his early 30s and he got killed…They were young. These people are young. I’m supporting them.”
Jackson said he has a granddaughter in Brockton High School, a daughter who is a teacher in Brockton and that his wife is a school administrator in Brockton.
“They’re protesting about the racial inequalites here in the United States and the police brutality that’s been going on in the United States, so hopefully we can get some changes,” Jackson said.
This was a far cry from the violence that erupted in Brockton on Tuesday night when protesters clashed with police that sent tear gas and rocks flying. But Saturday afternoon, police kept their distance.
“This is the message that we need to send out. We need it to be peaceful so we can be heard,” said protester Cara Ballo.
Demonstrators said any meaningful change will require action from both sides of the protest line, including those in uniform.
“It just takes one person in the justice department to stand up and then everyone else will stand up with them,” Ballo said.