On Saturday, hundreds of East Boston residents came together to peacefully protest the murder of George Floyd and support the national Black Lives Matter movement.
Organized by a group of Eastie residents with the support of the neighborhood’s elected officials the rally began at Bremen Street Park with speeches and a reflection of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.
“We wanted to hold space for our Black families in East Boston who are usually invisible and demand justice for all the innocent Black boys, girls, men and women who were killed by the police,” said organizer Abdi Mohamed Warsame Dirie. “Our aim was to urge everyone to start thinking about how to be anti-racist and confront the anti-Blackness deeply rooted into our society’s fabric. We also wanted to highlight the intersectionality of our neighborhood and demand a systemic change in education, environmental, housing, healthcare, hiring discrimination, and immigration reform. We believe that Black Lives Matter movement is beyond holding the police and this racist system accountable. It is about demanding an economic investment in our communities so that we aren’t only surviving but also thriving.”
Before starting a march through Eastie’s streets City Councilor Lydia Edwards addressed the crowd.
“Today I’m looking at the most beautiful view..the view of all of you willing to sit and listen and heal and move,” said Edwards. “Protests are amazing. They are points of gathering, points of reflection but they are limited to what they can do. You have to do more. We all have to do more. I’m here today to talk about healing reflection and history. You need to call on us (elected officials) to push the policy to the table and don’t stop calling us until it gets done. There will be a day that comes when you;ll be asked where you were when George Floyd was murdered. You will be asked by future generations about how you responded, I pray to God you say I was on the side of justice, I took to the street, and I pushed for new laws. I love this country and I’m blessed to represent East Boston but we have a long way to go. Indeed the arch of the moral universe is long but bent towards justice and together we can get there.”
After the rally Edwards added, “I’m proud of East Boston for stepping up and affirming that Black lives matter on Saturday. It was wonderful to see so many people come out and peacefully protest. It’s time for action and accountability beyond protests.” Rep. Adrian Madaro who marched in the rally alongside Edwards commented after the event that it was a beautiful day to see Eastie affirm that Black Lives Matter.