On a sunny Saturday afternoon at Brooks Park in Harwich, Ma, Cape Cod residents took to the streets this past weekend to protest police brutality and racism. Police had to temporarily close the streets to traffic so that, following a moving speech by Tito Santos Silva on the gazebo, demonstrators could circle the center streets of downtown Harwich. Following the march, the demonstrators then ended up back at the gazebo to listen to more speeches. (Regrettably I could not catch their names.)
This protest was like many of the other thousands of demonstrations occurring across the country and around the world after George Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis police officers over an alleged counterfeit twenty dollar bill.
Near the beginning of the protest, I did overhear a total ‘Karen’ say: I don’t get what is disrespectful about my sign that says ‘All Lives Matter’. Uhh, the fact that the statement ‘All Lives Matter’ ignores hundreds of years of racism, slavery, and exploitation to start with. However, the atmosphere was a tad tense but overwhelmingly peaceful and positive.
Chants in remembrance of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor rang through the marching crowds as well as calls for peace and an end to police injustice. Signs were commonplace, from the creative and artistic, to the plain and simple, to slightly off color, but one thing was unanimous; they all called for peace and justice, save for Karen’s ‘All Lives Matter’ sign.
The attendee’s were an amazing mix of races, generations, genders, sexual and religious orientations. I was expecting to come upon a small-ish crowd of hipsters but was blown away to find that the crowd packed Brooks Park. People lined up along the parking lot and the outer perimeters of the park near the street. This was no small shin-dig, but instead a peaceful and powerful message to Cape Cod and the rest of the country. Even in Cape Cod, a conservative region riddled with economic inequality, folks are beginning to wake up and take action to put an end to racism and police brutality.
Check out some of these resources for more info on where and where folks will be demonstrating near you:
For more protests on the cape, check out the event page for 6/6/2020: https://www.facebook.com/events/3871804306224838/?active_tab=discussion
All photos by the author.
Chris Hues is a human & writer from Boston, Ma & Associate Editor of bostonhassle.com. //// They can be reached at [email protected] or @crsjh_ via instagram & twitter.