NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) —- A Black Lives Matter rally was held in Northampton, specifically on the Fourth of July holiday, in response to the incarceration of people of color and those suffering from racial injustices.
Demonstrators gathered in Pulaski Park where supporters in masks held signs reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Defund the Police.’ Speakers at the event told the crowd they cannot celebrate the holiday until everyone is free.
“This stuff is intrinsic to the United States,” said Laura, an organizer of the rally. “The kind of Nationalism this day normally celebrates—I think it is important to show up against.”
Organizers of the event told 22News that mass incarceration is disproportionately harming Black and LatinX people, as well as people of color. As a result—they say—is from police violence against these communities. Now they are continuing to call on the city to do more in defunding and disarming the Northampton Police Department.
“The message is no one is free until everyone is free,” said Alex, another organizer of the rally. “And it is so clear that so many people in our country, especially our brothers, sisters and siblings of color, are not free in this police state.”
Northampton’s City Council has voted to cut its police budget by 10% in its next fiscal year, which began July 1st. Protesters have been calling for a nearly 50% cut to the budget.
RESOURCES and PLACES TO DONATE:
- Black Lives Matter
- Color of Change Education Fund
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- New England Blacks in Philanthropy
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- NAACP Springfield
- Black Girls Code
- Black Voters Matter
- ACLU Massachusetts
- Register to Vote here
- Western Mass Community Mutual Aid Network