SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - About 200 people gathered at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the gazebo near the South Orange train station for a march on South Orange Ave. to Spiotta Park. The 'March on South Orange: A Student March for Peace, Unity, and Equality' was organized by Hudson Pollock, a seventh-grader at South Orange Middle School (SOMS).
Pollock's mother, Vanessa Pollock, described the march on Facebook "as a statement of peace, unity and equality. All are welcome to gather at the gazebo, and then peacefully walk through town, ending at [Spiotta Park] to hang out together."
The group walked from the gazebo to Spiotta Park on South Orange Ave., chanting "choose love not hate." Many carried handmade signs with messages like "love is love."
Hudson Pollock welcomed and thanked all for coming, sharing, "we need to say to each other, I know you are different from me, and I like that," said Pollock to cheers from the crowd.
SOMS student Ellie McGowan also addressed the crowd, stating, "we are all different but all equal, and should not have to worry about how we are treated."
Both Pollock and McGowan also participated in the SOMS protest on Friday.
Pollock thanked the Township of South Orange and the police for providing a safe place to march, and for allowing the group to use the park for the rally and the gazebo for the gathering spot.