BOSTON (CBS) — A large group of protestors gathered in Nubian Square on Sunday, demanding justice against police brutality. The peaceful protest, which was organized by the group Party for Socialism and Liberation, comes a week after Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot by a white police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He is now paralyzed from the waist down.
Protestors held signs such as “Justice for Jacob Blake”, “Standing in Solidarity,” and “Stop the War on Black America.” At times, they chanted phrases such as “abolish the police,” and “how do you spell sexist” and turned their attention to the police station, which was the group’s backdrop in Roxbury.
Bria Yazic, a transplant from Vermont, said the fight for racial justice concerns everyone.
“Black people and people of color have been fighting for decades and centuries for rights that they still don’t have,” she said.
Organizers held a moment of silence to honor victims killed by police brutality then the group marched from Nubian Square to Franklin Park. Attendees were asked to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
Danny Riviera, of Mattapan, just returned from the March on Washington, where thousands gathered demanding justice. He said being at the march was “energizing and it was healing for me to see so many standing in solidarity, but I’m traumatized.”
The Mattapan resident also said seeing videos of people who look like him being brutalized by police is becoming too much: “In the moments, when I’ve tried to heal and trying to calm down and really just live, and it happens again, so I’m traumatized and scared for my life, but I’m using that fear to fuel my fire.”
The National Guard was standing by Sunday. Troopers were staging around South Station. Gov. Charlie Baker activated up to 1,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard on Friday.
“I think it’s interesting that the National Guard hasn’t been deployed to go door-to-door to deliver groceries or check on people during the pandemic,” said Joe Tacha, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
In May, the National Guard was called to Boston after protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent.