Nutley’s Black Lives Matter Protest
At 11:30 a.m. on June 7, 2020, I stood in a clearing within a crowd of over 100 people near Yanticaw’s Frank Cocchiola Playground. The Township of Nutley organized a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest to join the millions of voices across the country. Signs were held up high in the air, ranging from “Educators for Black Lives” to the names of victims of police brutality.
People were speaking into megaphones, pouring their hearts and souls into their words. Cheers were deafening after each person, people waving their signs in the air.
At 12 p.m., the march began as the sun beat down on our heads. Water and snacks were passed around as we left the clearing and onto the street. We marched down Franklin, shouting as loud as we could. “Black Lives Matter!”, “No Justice, No Peace. No racist, Police.”, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!”, and “Say His Name! George Floyd!” were all chants that we yelled, all while waving at the people who held signs in their front yards.
The protests that spread across the United States were sparked by the death of George Floyd, who was killed, on May 25, 2020, when a police officer kneeled on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. At the rally, his name was shouted, along with Breanna Taylor’s. She was shot after police officers entered her apartment with a search warrant. Many other people also fell victim to police brutality, and their names were chanted as well.
Any litter on the ground was picked up, and people were kind to each other. They offered my friends and me water and snacks as we marched along. Our voices became one as we shouted for peace and equality. Signs were constantly in the air, boasting messages of frustration.
Police officers stood by streets that lead to people’s homes, and instructed the crowd where to march. We marched the entirety of Franklin Ave. The entire thing was very organized. People from all over town joined together to make a statement.
It was an illuminating time, and really made me proud to live in Nutley. Everyone can make a difference, even if it’s just spreading awareness. Together as a whole, we can change the world.