NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Demonstrators made their voices heard demanding change Saturday afternoon in Northampton.
Thousands packed Center Street, outside the city’s police department, fighting against police brutality and racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“We know Northampton is a predominantly white neighborhood and a predominantly white town, so it’s nice to see that everyone is coming together and recognizing that this fight is for all of us and not just a group of us,” said resident Eureka Boulay.
Chants of “No Justice, No Peace”, “Black Lives Matter” and “Defund police” were echoed throughout downtown Saturday. 22News spoke with one protester on why they want to see change right now.
“I really hope that our message resounds in the next coming weeks and months and we start to see some genuine re-legislation come out from our Congress,” Adam Deshefy said. “I’m really hopeful. As long as I keep seeing people coming out like this, I think that hope will stay alive.”
Many also wanting to see the Northampton Police Department defunded. The Department is expecting an increase of nearly $200,000 in funding in Mayor Narkewicz’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. That money includes salary increases, training, and replacing several cruisers.
More police were on hand Saturday, to help control the crowds and keep everything peaceful as demonstrators marched in unity.