Activists Keep Up Pressure Following Nearly Year of Floyd Inspired Actions & Protests

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Since the death of George Floyd, rallies and protests have been taking place around the state.

On Tuesday, things were a little quieter as a small group gathered on the New Haven Green hours after guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial.

“It was kind of a mixed emotion in relief but then knowing there is still work to do,” said Meredith Benson, of New Haven.

There’s been a lot of work across the state since the death of George Floyd about a year ago.

From New Haven to Hamden to Waterbury people took to the streets to call for justice for Floyd and demand change when it comes to policing.

In Hartford, there was a powerful moment when people blocking I-84 were joined at one point by State Police troopers some of whom even kneeled alongside them.

“Black Lives Matter is always here, always doing this work. It was just the last year we had a collective support from the entire community which was different,” said Benson.

In July, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law police reform legislation.

And in the last year many communities including Manchester declared racism a public health crisis.

Now all these months later, some were moved close to tears following the conviction.

“I have just watched history in this country. I have just seen justice happen for a Black man in the judicial system. My heart and soul is rejoicing that justice is served in this country,” said Pastor AJ Johnson of Urban Hope Refuge Church.

Pastor Johnson believes Floyd’s death might not have ignited such a nationwide response if not for the video, the internet and the pandemic.

Now he’s looking to tackle a range of issues for people of color including with education, the justice system and housing.

“We feel that this is the moment for change for people all across this country,” said Pastor Johnson.

The pastor says they are going to keep the pressure up until everyone everywhere in the state can live comfortably.

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