Protesters march from Onset, Besse Park to Police Station
At six p.m., two groups of protesters in support of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and injustice began to gather at Besse Park and Onset Pier.
At Besse Park, about 250 protesters of all races and ages — from toddlers to senior citizens — joined together to share their message of justice, peace, and unity. Almost every passing car honked its horn in support of the protesters.
“The message is Black Lives Matter,” said Naomi Key, who was protesting in Besse Park.
“My message is different — my message is justice,” said Danielle Weary. Weary said two of her brothers have been killed by police.
“We’re doing this to get our voices out. We’re tired of it. We want to reclaim our peace,” Weary said.
Key, who is white, is the mother of two black sons, including three-year-old Taevon Key, who attended the march in a stroller.
Key and Weary said that mothers should not have to be afraid for their children’s lives when they leave the house.
Weary said that not only is she marching for justice for George Floyd, who was killed by police in Minneapolis on May 25, but for all the victims of police brutality who still need justice. She added that police should use their power for good, and bad cops should be fired.
“There are a lot of people I know who face discrimination,” said Savanna Lake, a 13-year-old who will be a freshman next year at Wareham High School. “People should feel safe in their own skin.” ‘
About 50 people left the Onset Pier at around 6 p.m., joining with the protestors in Besse Park at about 7 p.m. As the group approached, a cheer rose from the Besse Park group before all the protesters united on Main Street to head to the police station.
The crowd was enthusiastic but peaceful, with an almost party-like atmosphere as one protester played music through an amplifier attached to the back of his bike.
A smaller group of about 20 to 30 people, most of them in their teens and twenties, met at the Onset Pier parking lot to begin their march to the Wareham Police Station.
As the group marched down Onset Avenue, they waved signs and yelled chants of “Black Lives Matter!” “Say his name: George Floyd,” “No justice, no peace,” and several others.
The group was met with support from spectators who honked their horns and waved to them as they marched through Onset.
Others joined in with the group, and by the time it reached Minot Avenue, there were about 75 to 100 protesters.
At the railroad bridge, the Onset group was met by a crowd of hundreds of other protesters who had gathered at Besse Park. The different groups converged and continued marching to the police station.
One of the protesters who marched all the way from the Onset Pier parking lot, Davis McCain, said he participated in the peaceful protest to “destroy the stigma that all black people are violent.”
Steve Hurley showed support for protesters in the parking lot by putting signs on his car that read “All Lives Don’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter” and “Vote Blue.”
Hurley said that he was a police officer for 32 years, and that “enough is enough” in regards to systemic racism and the killing of innocent black people at the hands of the police.
“What I see on the news is positively disgusting,” Hurley said.
The Onset group was led by 18-year-old Jazzy Andrade, who organized the protest through social media.
After the march, Andrade said, “I just want to thank everyone who came tonight. It was a real amazing thing to see all of us come together as one. And haha to anyone who doubted us! You can take the boards off your windows now!”
Although there was a heavy police presence before and during the march and many businesses boarded up their windows, the protesters were peaceful and did not even leave litter behind on Main Street.