Protests over police killings of black men and women have spread throughout the region.
Hundreds of demonstrators in Falmouth, Hyannis, and Provincetown participated in peaceful events over the weekend. Protestors gathered in New Bedford as well. A demonstration was planned on Nantucket for Monday evening.
At a silent community vigil in Falmouth on Sunday afternoon, organizers from the group “No Place for Hate” said the goal was to confront racism and “honor the memory of George Floyd,” who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. On Falmouth's Village Green, people of all ages and races held signs that read, “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
Eight-year-old Jackson Turner, who described himself as half black, held a sign that read, “Do I scare you?”
“Someone like me got killed,” he explained. “And that makes me scared someone’s going to come after me like someone did like him.”
His mother, Rachel Turner, added through tears that she’s afraid for her son’s future, and worries that she “can’t always protect him.”
Nurse Nicola Sampson, also at the Falmouth vigil, explained that patients have refused her care at Falmouth Hospital because she’s black. She said she’s grateful to see solidarity and compassion from white demonstrators, in particular.
“It makes my heart feel good. I see everybody with their signs, and especially her sign,” she said, pointing to a white woman, “which says she’ll never understand, but she is here to support us. … I love that.”
Throughout the demonstration, all protestors wore face masks, and social distancing was encouraged. Falmouth Police were on site.
Taylor Baker of Falmouth said she was demonstrating because violence against black people—wherever it happens—affects her.
“I want this country to get better,” she said. “I want this town to recognize that the policing system has to get better everywhere, not just in Minnesota, or Ferguson or [Washington] D.C.”
Nantucket's “drive-in” protest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.