Black Lives Matter (BLM) Protests for George Floyd against police brutality continued across the country since last Saturday. A BLM protest occurred yesterday in Edison on Amboy Ave.
As the crowd of some 300 people marched, they chanted, “Say his name, George Floyd!” “No Justice, No Peace!” “I can’t breathe!” “No Trump, No KKK, No Racist USA!”
Edison resident Rida Sohail organized the protests along with other activists.
Black Lives Matter Against Police Brutality
“What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple. It was the result of a racist system,” she said.
The protest and the police response were peaceful in contrast to the violence displayed in Asbury Park by the police, who arrested a journalist there and shot rubber bullets at the crowd. Along with the major cities of Newark, Jersey City, and Trenton, protests have taken place in South River, Old Bridge, and Newton in Northwest New Jersey.
One of the organizers of the BLM protest and speakers was cannabis scientist Joshua Alb.
“The War on Drugs is a War on races! Where do you think they get the money?!” he exclaimed.
Presidential Aide John Ehrlichman in the Nixon administration admitted it years later:
We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.”
(More on that in the upcoming book Cannabis 101!
Alb explained that the practice of racial profiling came from the War on Drugs to the crowd’s applause.
“Home of the brave and land of free where black people are murdered with a gun or a knee,” a high school poet read.
Protests at this level and intensity probably haven’t been seen since the Women’s March and first six months of Trump’s presidency. The initial BLM protests were not even this widespread in 2014. Occupy Wall Street in 2011 never got big enough to reach suburban towns.
“This is nothing new,” said a speaker named Lucy. “Nationwide police reform is crucial. It’s literally a matter of life and death. The police are not above the law. Even though they think they are.”
Many of the speakers emphasized the need to vote in this year’s July 7th primary and the November 3rd general election. People were encouraged to stay politically active as well.
“Let’s have these uncomfortable conversations. Our brothers and sisters are uncomfortable in the streets!” Lucy exclaimed!
A trans person named Gialla was a particularly forceful speaker connecting the issues BLM protests and police brutality to the LGBT struggle.
“Stonewall was a fucking riot if you don’t k own history. It was a riot against LGBT police brutality!” he exclaimed.
Stonewall occurred in June and it has subsequently become celebrated as LGBT pride month.
Gialla continued by saying many transgender people have also been murdered by police and received less news coverage.
“We are dying and our community isn’t talking about it,” he lamented.
In Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Browester has ordered troops brought in by Trump to leave. A street by the White House was renamed “Black Lives Matter Way” as recognition of the protest.