Black Lives Matter March Peacefully Shows Albany’s Heart

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It was a beautiful day to go to Washington Park, and thousands showed up. It wasn’t to play frisbee, or get a tan. The showing was a show of solidarity for the Black Lives Movement.

Citizen Action of New York in coalition with All Of Us and Justice For Dahmeek organized a peaceful march starting at 1 pm a short distance from Washington Park. Wearing masks, carrying signs, and walking with a spirit of connection, the capital district came out in droves. Young and old, black and white, men and women, there was a diversity of support across communities showing support from allies as well as victim families of police violence.

The mood was thoughtful as it was peaceful, demonstrating restraint as well as quiet intelligence about inequity in human experience. Police watched from a respectful distance, and expressed support for the demonstrators.

One officer with an Albany Police officer after the protest shared that “Albany should be proud that we demonstrated with peace. Other cities should take notice.”

Sadly, after the demonstrators left, a small faction continued on in protest at the State Capitol and toward the Governor’s Mansion and the South Police Station. That dwindling group stole some attention and the positive vibes of the thousands who had arrived earlier were diminished somewhat in the wake of violence.

Citizen’s Action of New York is Nippertown’s local hero for keeping the purpose of the protests front and center. George Floyd’s life and death by murder was the focus; there was no joy in celebrating this, only solidarity of vision that all human beings deserve to feel safe and protected by our government’s police.

As more communities plan upcoming protests to raise awareness, such as Schenectady’s today and Lake George’s protests next weekend, communities should recall George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and the too many to count more who have died pointlessly at the hands of the men and women sworn to protect us.

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