Like many communities across the U.S., the North Hudson municipalities hosted a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday, June 6.
The peaceful protest across North Hudson took a stand with the ongoing demonstrations in honor of George Floyd and against police brutality.
Demonstrations have been erupting across the country in response to police brutality against African Americans, specifically the death of Floyd by police. Floyd was an unarmed African-American man who was killed in Minneapolis when police officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd was later pronounced dead. Chauvin has since been fired and charged with murder and manslaughter. In response to mass demonstrations, Chauvin’s charges were upgraded and the other police officers on scene during the call have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the commission of a felony.
Protesters were loud and proud, but remained peaceful throughout the course of the day.
Beginning at 79th Street just outside Braddock Park, a large group stretched for blocks, carrying signs and placards down the avenue through North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, and Union City, ending at Celia Cruz Park.
Half way through the march, a moment of silence was held to honor the late Floyd. When the march culminated at the park, organizers gave powerful speeches to the crowd.
Most called for holding elected officials accountable and voting in November as ways to enact change and to help combat police brutality.
Elected officials in attendance
Rep. Albio Sires was among local leaders in attendance, including Mayor Nicholas Sacco of North Bergen, Mayor Wayne Zitt of Guttenberg, Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez of West New York, Mayor Brian Stack of Union City, and Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken as well as Assemblyman Pedro Mejia, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez, and Freeholder Anthony Vainieri.
After the Black Lives Matter March across North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, and Union City, Sires took to social media to signal his further support for the movement.
“I share the pain and frustration in our community over the death of George Floyd and countless other African Americans, and want to ensure I am doing everything I can to show my support during this important moment in our history,” Sires said.
Sacco was among the many elected officials who joined the march to show his and the administration’s support for the movement. He later wrote about it on his Facebook page.
“It was a proud day in not just North Bergen but Hudson County for the Black Lives Matter rally and march,” Sacco said. “It is important we all come together and stand in solidarity for social justice.”
According to Sacco, the only way forward is to do the real work of understanding what got society to this place and creating a new path forward.
“That will take leadership at all levels, from our federal and state government to our local communities, and it will not be simple or easy,” Sacco continued. “We can’t let the raw anger that so many justifiably feel right now destroy any chance at progress. We need to come together for our country and for our future.”
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