HOBOKEN - Mayor Bhalla, Councilmembers and various community organizers will reportedly attend a rally planned for Hoboken’s Maxwell Place Park this afternoon, to protest the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other instances of violence and injustice nationwide.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” reads a post by an organization calling itself Allies4Justice. “The unjust death of George Floyd and the perpetual violence against Black people is simply too great to ignore. Action must be taken,” reads the instagram post. “Join us in a PEACEFUL PROTEST on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at Maxwell Place Park Hoboken, NJ @ 1:00PM. TOGETHER AS ALLIES, WE DEMAND JUSTICE.”
Earlier this week, we published a story outlining the goals of the rally.
"As organizers of this protest, safety was one of our main priorities. We wanted to make sure we created a safe space where people could peacefully stand for black lives and also feel safe while doing so. We do not want any more black and brown being harmed during this protest," said Allies4Justice. "That’s why it was crucial to us to contact the Hoboken Mayor’s Office as well as Hoboken Police Department. Since then, the City of Hoboken in conjunction with Hoboken Police Department released a press statement to exhibit their support for this event and securing Hoboken residents that they were doing everything possible to make sure everyone is safe this Friday."
Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante issued his own statement, saying, "My command staff and I have worked around the clock since last Friday to ensure that we have a peaceful protest and peaceful day in Hoboken. The burden of the responsibility on me is to ensure that I direct our officers and the other agencies who will be assisting, to make certain we maintain a peaceful march."
Meanwhile, a number of stores throughout Hoboken have boarded up their windows in the event of any vandalism, after watching similar rallies take a negative turn nationwide.
"I respect the statements local businesses have made in not boarding up their stores," said Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher. "But at the same time, I am sympathetic to those boarding up their windows given concern of the potential for greater financial loss for businesses already devasted by COVId. The light at the end of the tunnel is irrespective of the path chosen, on Saturday, just over 24 hours from now, we will see the boards start to come down and the open signs lit up again."
"What is happening across our country is heartbreaking and frightening. We acknowledge and stand against racial injustice, and are committed to being part of the solution,” said Gregory Dell’Aquilla, President of the Hoboken Business Alliance.
“Hate has no place in our city. We support peaceful efforts to make our community better, kinder and more understanding. We know our elected leaders and departments who protect and defend us will do their best to keep us safe,” he adds. “Please make sure our businesses can operate safely.”
The Mayor, Council Vice President Vanessa Falco, and Councilman Ruben Ramos are reportedly joining the protesters at Maxwell Place. The crowd is then scheduled to march down to Pier A, along Sinatra Drive.
Weather forecasts this afternoon call for thunderstorms.
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