SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hundreds of people marched in Springfield Wednesday to protest police brutality and racism in response to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Protestors started the march in the parking lot of Central High School at 4 p.m. and traveled to State Street, Main Street, and ended at the Springfield Police Department.
22News Reporter Sydney Snow saw hundreds of protesters gathered at Central High School holding signs that read black lives matter, no justice no peace, and end police brutality. Springfield Police spokesperson Ryan Walsh reminded residents to take an alternate route if you’re traveling in the area.
Those who joined the march made sure to protect themselves and others by wearing a face covering and maintaining social distance. A recent study found that staying at least three feet away from others can cut the risk of transmission to 2.6 percent, down from 12.8 percent among those in closer physical contact.
Organizers of this march said their goal is to keep this as peaceful as possible so their message is not degraded for any reason.
They said they do not condone any actions of malicious behavior at the protest. Organizers have asked protesters to be safe, wear masks and practice social distancing due to Covid-19 still being active throughout the country.
More than 500 people gathered for the protest, between 200 and 300 people attended the previous gathering last week. 22News spoke with Springfield City Councilor Malo Brown about why he got involved on Wednesday.
“This is amazing, I never ever, in my time and ive an activist for 40 years, never have I seen the youth rally for a cause in the history of Springfield. If you look, there is hundreds upon hundreds, maybe thousands of kids out here fighting for injustice,” Councilor Brown said.
“I just figured there was something more powerful about having a physical presence than just being behind a screen,” co-organizer of the march, Rachel Boudreau, added. “I just wanted to try and make a bigger impact in the community.”
Of the hundreds who participated Wednesday, their message stayed the same. The world needs to change for future generations.
“I hope it doesn’t end with the march and with the protest that’s happening in front of the police department but rather people continue to have this in their minds and continue to be apart of the movement in some way,” Valery Franco told 22News.
“Me, not have to have the talk with my son when he’s about 10 or 11 and not about the birds and the bees but how to act around police officers,” said Josh Dodds of Springfield. “When does my little boy who’s cute right now, my beautiful little black boys, turn into a threat to other people.”
Wednesday’s protest ended peacefully at the police station.