I am outraged and saddened at the killing of George Floyd. On the news, I heard a young black man say that when he leaves the house in the morning, he never knows whether he will come back alive. I cannot imagine living with that reality for him or for his family.
Amidst this, I am proud of our state. In Newark, the police stood back and let their community protest peacefully. In Camden, police joined with their community to protest racism and police brutality.
Several groups in Montclair are collaborating to host activities for a week of action. Please consider joining in these events:
Leave a Momento at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Tuesday, June 2 through Friday, June 5 – 12 to 4 p.m.
A time to honor the black lives lost due to racially motivated violence, the community will be invited to leave a memento of solidarity against racism at Nishuane Park’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Suggestions include written comments, poems, and thoughts, as well as flowers, wreaths and other tokens to honor the memories of those who have lost their lives due to racist acts. The Memorial is located on the Harrison Avenue side of Nishuane Park, across from the fire station (See map. To maintain social distancing guidelines, participants are asked not to linger.
Friday, June 5 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The Montclair Education Association and Restorative Justice Montclair will lead a caravan of Montclair Public School educators and community members who will travel in cars through Montclair’s six square miles with messages of solidarity against police brutality. The caravan will pass all 11 Montclair Public School Buildings, starting at Bradford School at 87 Mt. Hebron Road (See map) at 4:30 p.m. and ending at Nishuane School on Cedar Avenue.
Information from Catherine Kondreck, Secretary of the Montclair Education Association, about joining the protest: Please read over the guidelines and the route information. We will step outside our cars at 6 pm for a moment of silence. Black Lives Matter Poster posters are to be taped to the back window of your car to help designate that you are part of the caravan. Feel free to print your own and tape to your window, but we will also have copies available when you arrive if you are unable to print your own.
Guidelines and Route information (includes ideas for signs)
Saturday, June 6, 12:00 to 1:00pm
The gathering of residents will begin at 11am and the march will start at 12noon at Nishuane Park (See map). Marchers will walk through Montclair to Crane Park. Organized by a newly formed group called Montclair Citizens for Equality and Fair Policing, participants will be strongly encouraged to use social distancing measures.
Weekly Prayer Vigil
Sundays, June 7 through June 21, 2:00pm
On this Sunday, June 7 at 2:00PM and EVERY Sunday thereafter culminating on Father’s Day June 21, a local pastor will hold the gathering. The gathering will be held on the Football Field in Glenfield Park, located on Maple Avenue in Montclair (See map). Demonstrators will be adhering to social distancing guidelines. They will also be streaming on FB Live. Organizers say, this is an open invitation to all, a prayer call to all whom desire not only Prayers for their families but Prayers for the Nation as well.
Sarita Eisenberg & Audrey Levitin
Co-chairpersons, Shomrei Social Action Committee