Several local towns, including Newton and Vernon, are planning peaceful protests this weekend to condemn racism, oppression, and injustice.
For more than a week now, protesters nationwide have taken to the streets to condemn the actions of Minneapolis police in the custody death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who cried for help as an officer knelt on his neck, pinning him to the pavement for at least eight minutes. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are only the most recent black lives lost to police brutality and systemic racism. Others to die in this way in recent years include Eric Garner (Aug. 9, 2014), Michael Brown (Nov. 22, 2014), Tamir Rice (April 4, 2015), Walter Scott (April 4, 2015), Alton Sterling (July 5, 2016), Philando Castile (July 6, 2016), and Stephon Clark (March 18, 2018).
Organizers of the following local protests ask that participants wear face masks and follow social distancing rules.
Saturday, June 5
Vernon: Participants will stand six feet apart holding signs at the intersection of Route 94 and Main Street, near the CVS Pharmacy. Organizers say this “stand in” will be positive and creative.
Newton: A rally organized by town residents will take place at 11 a.m. on the Newton Green. For more information, contact Kyle Morel on Facebook, Twitter, or call 973-383-1292.
Maplewood: The Soma Family Protest will assemble at 4:30 p.m. at the pavilion at Maplecrest Park.
Sunday, June 7
Mount Olive: This protest was originally scheduled to take place in Chester but has been moved to Turkey Brook Park in Mount Olive (30 Flanders Rd., Budd Lake). The protest will be held at 3 pm and a vigil will take place at 8 pm.
Wednesday, June 10
Ridgewood: The MLK Committee of Ridgewood and Glen Rock and The Community Peace and Justice Forum plan an evening of solidarity from 4 to 6 p.m. in the YMCA parking lot (112 Oak St.).