The city of Hoboken held a peaceful protest on Friday afternoon for the death of George Floyd and the injustice of the many other black lives lost due to police brutality. The protest was attended by both Hoboken residents and people who lived in neighboring towns.
A group called Allies 4 Justice planned the event which began on the waterfront near Maxwell Place Park uptown and proceeded south along the river to Pier A park near the train terminal.
“Protesting is important to bring awareness to issues surrounding the black community and to the injustices and inequalities they must face on a daily basis,” a Jersey City resident who attended the protest said.
As the protestors marched, police officers surrounded the crowd and spotted on rooftops as surveillance drones flew overhead.
The Jersey City resident believes that the nearly 10,000 protesters reported to have attended the Hoboken protests, one of many nationwide following the death of George Floyd, is a sign that change is possible.
“I hope that with the protests, change will come. With a full week of protests, we have seen that slowly many things are starting to change,” she said.
Cheyenne Calderon, who lives in Elmwood Park, was also hopeful.
“I came out today to Hoboken to be the voice for the voiceless — the ones who are not being heard and for there to be change worldwide, because racism has no part in my life and should never be in anyone’s heart,” she said.
The protest demonstrated a large group of younger generations confronting racism head on with compassion, concern and knowledge.
Calderon is optimistic about the end result of the protests taking place in American cities today. She has attended several other local protests, including some in Clifton, Passaic, Garfield, Rutherford and Carlstadt.
“The outcome I hope to see is change in law reform and defunding of the police,” she said. “I want people to feel safe and protected, and right now it seems like the police are being clear that they’d rather beat up civilians rather than be the solution.”
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who marched with his family, spoke during the protest and released a statement on Saturday.
“I’m proud of our city, residents, and visitors who peacefully demonstrated in the fight for racial justice and equality yesterday,” he said. “Together, we showed that a non-violent event can help lead the movement to change the way society treats people of color. I listened, learned, and remain committed to acting.”
New Jersey cities continue to hold protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, aspiring to spark change to the corrupt justice system in America.