From Hartford to Bridgeport, there was a message.
“No Justice No Peace.”
Words shouted in the streets of Hartford Saturday. Prompted by the recent death of George Floyd, killed by a Minnesota Police officer who now faces murder charges, hundreds gathered.
“You know, black and brown people are just being murdered across the country for no reason at all besides their skin tone,” said Gabrielle Mitchell who was among the thousands of Hartford protestors.
Rallying against racism and police violence, people marched the streets.
“You can hear it right behind me,” said another Hartford protestor, pointing to a large crowd shouting. “They’re declaring that black lives matter and we have to do more.”
Hartford Mayor, Luke Bronin issued a statement that read in part:
“Like our community, I am sickened by the murder of George Floyd, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the senseless killing of Breonna Taylor, and by the feeling that our country still falls so far short of what we’re supposed to be. We‘re thankful to everyone who came out today to peacefully, but powerfully, say enough is enough, and speak out against injustices that should make every American angry.”
In Bridgeport, more emotion. Protestors disrupting traffic. Closing down Route 8 in both directions for hours.
Anger was displayed at the Bridgeport police department, as protestors stormed the front door. They demanded to speak with the chief. Tension ran high and large construction type dump-trucks were used as barricades to block access streets near police headquarters.
Protesters remained at Bridgeport headquarters for hours. Even after they dispersed, around 9pm, officers stood guard outside in riot gear.
On Bridgeport’s McLeavy Green Saturday, there were more people.
“I think the message we sent today is that we’re human you know we bleed the same. We cry the same. We hurt the same,” said Zara Salmon.
Salmon came from Bethany to join in the Bridgeport protest hoping this gathering and others around the country will bring about awareness and change.
“Any way that people choose to protest in America right now is justified,” said Salmon, “because it’s been over 400 years of oppression and nothing has been done.”