On Monday evening, around fifty Plainfielders participated in the first March for Equality, in the vicinity of the Plainfield Police Station and City Hall. The march was in response to the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castiles that outraged Black Americans, and all those who value justice and equality.
“Living in Plainfield, I’ve witnessed young black men being harassed by police,” explains organizer Brittany Wheeler. “I wanted to make sure that we took a stance as a community as well as show support to these protesting in Louisiana and Minnesota.”
Many participants vowed that the protests will continue – every Monday at 6:30pm, at the corner of Watchung Avenue and East Front Street.
“It’s time that black people not be treated like slaves anymore,” said Wheeler. “If police can murder people with cameras around, imagine what goes on behind closed doors. When is enough enough?”
Most participants signed the Plainfield Decarceration Petition, presented by Decarcerate NJ, who aims to reduce New Jersey’s prison population to pre War on Drugs levels and eliminate the state’s staggering 12:1 incarceration disparity between black and white residents. Decarcerate NJ will be raising awareness (link) in Plainfield on Saturday between 1:30 and 4:30 at the corner of Park Ave and Front Street.
Before then, Plainfielders have the opportunity to take a stand against violence in our community, and the uptick in recent killings, by attending a Thursday, 5:30pm meeting of the Plainfield Anti-Violence commission at 674 West Fourth Street (Facebook link).
While I was not able to attend or photograph the protest, I am extremely grateful for Andrew Bellisari, who took these great pictures.