An estimated 10,000 people attended a rally that began Hoboken’s Maxwell Place Park Friday, to protest the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other instances of violence and injustice nationwide.
“As organizers of this protest, safety was one of our main priorities. We wanted to make sure we created a safe space where people could peacefully stand for black lives and also feel safe while doing so. We do not want any more black and brown being harmed during this protest,” said Allies4Justice.
The rally quickly evolved into a march, which took it through Maxwell Park, along the Hoboken Waterfront down Sinatra Drive to Pier A Park, as planned. The event then went off script, as marchers turned toward Hoboken City Hall, then worked their way up Washington Street.
A number of stores along the city’s main commercial thoroughfare had boarded up their doors and windows, after a week of violent incidents nationwide. Others met marchers with cold water and snacks, or hung signs of solidarity on their storefronts.
Upon reaching the Hudson Tea Building at the city’s north end, marchers then returned back south along Hudson Street and Washington, with smaller rallies on Pier A and at City Hall. Hundreds of residents along the march route hung “BLACK LIVES MATTER,” and other supportive signs and messages from their homes.
There were no reported incidents involving protesters.
“I’m proud of our City, our residents, and visitors who peacefully demonstrated in the fight for racial justice and equality yesterday. Together, we showed that a non-violent event can help lead the movement to change the way society treats people of color. I listened, learned, and remain committed to acting,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who joined the demonstration, sharing your stories, and exercising your First Amendment rights, as well as the Hoboken Police Department for taking the precautions to keep our residents safe. Our community and country will be stronger because of it.”
Earlier Friday, Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante announced that they would work together to address use-of-force protocols in Hoboken.
“Today, in consultation with Police Chief Ken Ferrante, I answered President Obama’s call for Mayors to sign a pledge to review their city’s use of force policies in partnership with their local community. The pledge calls on cities to review their use of force policies, report its findings publicly, and seek community feedback within 90 days of signing the pledge.”
Bhalla, as well as Councilwoman Vanessa Falco, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, Councilman Mike DeFusco, Councilman Ruben Ramos and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Romano were spotted among the crowds at the event.
— hMAG (@hMAG) June 6, 2020