Members of the Warren Democratic Committee joined with a group of over 200 protesters gathered at Flag Plaza in Warren Center on Wednesday, June 3. The event was organized by the Warren, Watchung, Green Brook, Long Hill-Community Forum Advocacy Group.
The purpose of the Sit-In was to demonstrate solidarity with people of color who have been victims of police brutality, systemic racism, and social injustice. The peaceful protesters lined the intersection of Mt. Bethel Rd. and Mountain Blvd, extending to the Municipal Complex. The event began at 11AM and officially concluded at 1PM, although numerous participants weathered heavy rains and stayed longer.
Patti O'Byrne, Chair of the Warren Township Democratic Committee, was one of the attendees. "I'm so impressed with Yvonne Tang, Ryan Lin, Sydney Brewster and the other leaders of the Advocacy Group. To pull together an event like this in a day and a half, and have it go so smoothly, is a real testament to their passion and commitment. And it was so encouraging to see the response of people in the community. The overwhelming majority of drivers honked in support, waved encouragement, and gave all these kids a big thumbs-up.
The organizers of the event, which also included Carter Larsen and Tarana Ranjan, are all current or former students of Watchung Hills Regional High School. The Sit-In was organized via a new Facebook group that was formed in response to the removal of a pro-Black Lives Matter post on another community forum earlier this week. That post was later published on the Warren Democratic Committee's Facebook page.
Ilana Goldstein-Barsky, Democratic Candidate to Warren Township Committee, joined in praise of the gathering and its organizers, "Today, the youth of Warren came out in peaceful protest for justice for George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. I am humbled by their show of support for their neighbors and their dedication to social justice. It shows that when people from small towns use their voices, it can echo through so many lives. I am so proud of them, and I am proud to be a Warren resident."