Thousands of people took to the streets of Newark on Saturday to protest the recent police killing of George Floyd. The protesters were organized by activist group the People’s Organization for Progress (P .O.P .).
The demonstration started at the Lincoln Monument and made its way through downtown Newark where protesters were mostly peaceful. P.O.P. held a similar demonstration for Ahmaud Arbery, who was unarmed and killed by two white men in Georgia.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka participated in the rally and highlighted the 1967 Newark Uprising that occurred after two white police officers arrested and beat a Black cab driver and spoke about current police brutality.
“This is not just about Floyd,” Baraka said. “This is about hundreds of years of lynching, abuse, of segregation of purposeful and deliberate systemic abuse, denial of housing. This arbitrary violence is outraging. Newark has been here before. Newark has been here before.”
Activist and U.S. Senate candidate Lawrence Hamm said that residents will continue to protest police brutality until there’s justice.
“We will never stop marching or speaking for those killed by racialized terror. We will not be quiet,” said Hamm. “We will not be silent. We will continue to wage resistance against this systemic racism and its tool of violence. Here on the streets of Newark, in the halls of justice, and the floors of legislatures, we will stand up and speak out.”
Protests have taken place across New Jersey including Trenton, Atlantic City, Camden, Asbury Park and Jersey City.
On Tuesday, a rally was led by activist Ashton Burrell in Highland Park, N.J. on Woodbridge Avenue.
“The demonstration focused on ensuring that George Floyd and all people of color receive fair justice,” said Burrell. “We had handout sheets and booklets on action steps that will force the hand of local and statewide officials to prosecute all officers involved in the demise of George Floyd.”
Speaking at his daily press conference, Gov. Phil Murphy said Floyd should be alive because of the foundation of America’s ideology that “All men are created equal.”
“His life mattered as much as mine, or my wife’s or our kids or any of yours. We’ve seen these images before in New York, in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and in countless other cities, large and small,” Murphy said. “Too many times have we gotten a national wakeup call, and then gone about doing nothing about it. We cannot just expect someone to be fired and that be the end of it. That’s a feel-good action that doesn’t solve a systemic problem.”