Hundreds of people, many holding signs bearing the names of those killed in recent years while in police custody, lined Washington Street in Wellesley from Reidy Field past the tennis courts in a mostly silent vigil on Sunday afternoon.
The somber crowd, facing the road as honking vehicles drove by, urged justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality.
World of Wellesley’s Michelle Chalmers, ringing a bell, spoke impassionedly about fighting racism as she walked the length of the crowd.
Wellesley Police kept a low profile at the peaceful event.
The vigil took place one day after a similarly sized crowd gathered on Natick Common in a demonstration focused on the same issues. Protests, some turning violent and resulting in curfews, continue to spread across the country.
Michelle Chalmers says
Thank you Deborah and the Wellesley community and our neighbors. My son said he wished he could have asked everyone who came a question,”Why did you come?” It would be amazing if people would share their answers.
World of wellesley
Bob Brown says
Your son asks an excellent question. Our answer in part: To help those who couldn’t attend get a feel for what took place.
Caroline Fahey says
My name is Caroline Fahey and I am a graduate from WHS Class of 2012.
I attended this silent vigil and it was really amazing to see that so many people in this community care. It was very hopeful. I do think that it is super important to have a space where residents can vocalize their frustrations and anger in a peaceful way without being silent. Having uncomfortable conversations with one another is how we learn and how we start to make change.
I am curious to know what the Wellesley Public Schools and organizations in this community plan to do to implement change, especially when it comes to education.
While I am unfamiliar with the current academic programing, I do know that many WHS graduates feel that there was not enough programming done from an early age that taught us what white privilege is, black history, and how to be anti-racist. I also have a 16 y/o sister at the high school currently who feels similarly. We really should be re-thinking the way children develop behaviors from a very early age so that when they witness racial-injustice or in-justice of any kind they can confidently speak up and use their voice without feeling uncomfortable or nervous. This shouldn’t be one seminar, one class or one assembly every 12 years. And it shouldn’t happen only after racial incidents occur, which sadly happens too often in this town.
I don’t have the perfect solution and I am not a teacher or work in the education system, but I do know that there are so many brilliant, powerful, caring and loving people in this community that want the world to be a better place. So let’s try to brainstorm together.
Lock your doors.
Antifa is threatening the suburbs now. The threats were made via Twitter. Anyone have any other info?
This article is about protesting the murder of black men by the police. Do you have anything to add to that conversation Dan?
It was a white supremacist group posing as antifa. Lock your doors indeed – the skinheads are coming.
Stephanie H. says
Being one of the wealthiest communities in MA, I would encourage investing in eradicating racism as well. Some examples include investing in school systems in BIPOC communities (some schools don’t even have enough textbooks for each student), donating to bailout funds, divest from for-profit prisons, fund cultural competency and racial bias trainings for police and in organizations and companies. Please also read and have your children read BIPOC history from BIPOC authors. It’s not enough to protest without taking real actionable steps to change the racial climate and advance BIPOC.
*BIPOC stands for Black and Indigenous People of Color
So they can organize a peaceful socially distanced protest, but can’t organize a peaceful socially distanced high school graduation?
Jackie's Girl says
Thank you, Caroline, for your thoughtful recommendations for positive change! I hope the School Committee will listen to your recommendations and take action.