Peaceful Protest Comes to East Greenwich

by | Jun 2, 2020

The death at the hands of police of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week and subsequent protests across the country prompted one couple in East Greenwich to stage a mini-protest Tuesday on the corner of Cliff Street and First Avenue, with a sign that read, “Black Lives Matter – Justice for All Americans.” 

The couple, an EG native named Harry and his girlfriend Isabelle, live in New York City but have been staying in East Greenwich for more than two months. While they said they’d gotten a lot of positive feedback during their three hours with the sign – people honking as they drove by or giving a thumbs up as they walked by – not everyone was pleased by the message.

In particular, two different men expressed their disapproval and the young child of one of the men tried to pull the sign out and dump it on the ground. The couple said the hostility caught them by surprise but maybe it made sense.

“This is where the conversation needs to happen,” said Harry, who asked that his last name not be used because of those hostile responses. Life in East Greenwich is very pleasant, they both said, and it’s easy to become complacent. 

“You could just not deal with [racism and violence against people of color], but we would be doing ourselves and our fellow Americans a disservice.”


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36 Comments

  1. Judi Zimmer

    Thank you, Harry and Isabelle! Had I known, I’d have come down to join you. #BlackLivesMatter

    Reply
    • Terry

      Hey Judy- glad you dig-

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
    • Kerry

      Wish I saw this earlier- if there is another one planned I hope to find out about it and join with my daughter.

      Reply
    • Lanie Heller

      Thank you, Harry and Isabelle! We were there it was a pretty great turn out. Keep the movement going. My house had had BLM for awhile now. Hate has no home here sign been up for 2 years. Now our “white silence is violence” sign has been added.

      Reply
  2. Kassidy Williams

    I would love to get involved with Black Lives Matter movements in East Greenwich!

    Reply
    • Pam Testoni

      Let’s get these signs up around our little town. Mine is up!!

      Reply
    • Terry

      Kassidy- Pam! Join us Sunday

      If you’re around come down to the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  3. Bob Berlyn

    Harry and Isabelle, yes thank you. Racists live in EG too and that is a shame.
    One has to remember that peaceful protests are a right. Kind of makes one wonder just what that young child is being taught.

    #BlackLivesMatter

    Reply
    • Terry

      Bob- we’re with it man- come on down!

      If you’re around join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  4. SUSAN JACOBI-JOHNSON

    Thank you, Harry and Isabelle. I’m sorry you were met with some ignorant hostility.

    Reply
    • Terry

      Hey Susan-

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  5. Paulette Miller

    Good story & image. Thanks, EG News, Harry and Isabelle. It’s not always east to speak out. Thinking the sentiments is one thing. Saying them is another. Showing them is terrific. Living them is wonderful. Sharing them is paramount. Imagine if every single post we saw today sang the same tune and every person pledged to stand on the right side of history – the side of racial equity and social justice? Maybe, just maybe, that would offer a glimmer of hope. … In his TED talk, Deray Mckesson, offers some very good ideas on how to be an ally in the fight for racial justice. There’s a role for everybody.

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
    ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

    Reply
    • Terry

      Paulette- thats a great quote- how true it is-

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  6. Lanie Heller

    Thank you for taking a stand as well as revealing the racism that lies in our wonderful town. We welcome you to EG! I’ll join you next time, if I had known I would have stood with you.

    Reply
    • Donna Marcone

      Thank you for taking a stand for equality. I hope that there are more conversations about what is going on in the world and changes that should be made. I hope and pray that our children and grandchildren get it right. Empathy and hope for a very different future should be a goal for everyone.

      Reply
      • Terry

        Lanie- Donna- would love to have you folks at the next one-

        If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

        Reply
  7. Gina Buckley-O’Toole

    Thank you for your activism, Harry and Isabelle. So sorry you had to be harassed by racists. Next time you sit with your sign, let us know – plenty of us will come and keep you company!

    Reply
    • Terry

      Gina!

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  8. Charles

    All lives matter…categorizing and dividing kead to further problems of hatred and discrimination among races and ethnic grps.

    Reply
    • Terry

      Charles!

      Would love to speak with you on this matter, please join us Sunday at 1pm at the corner of First and Cliff st. in EG. We can sit and have a laid back conversation about the issues.

      Reply
    • Lanie Heller

      You are a part of the problem Charles

      Reply
    • Lisa DiCarlo

      If black lives don’t matter, if we don’t assign as much value to black lives as we do “all” lives, if some lives seem to matter more than others, then responding with “all lives matter” is automatically exclusionary classist.

      Reply
  9. Karen

    As residents of color in EG, we are so thankful for kind residents who understand, live among us…
    Thank you!!!
    #BLM

    Reply
    • Terry

      Karen!

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  10. Rachel

    I admire your commitment and courage to stand up and be a part of creating the dialog that is critical to change. Thank you, Isabelle and Harry, for the gifts of your time and conviction that you have shared with our community.

    Reply
    • Terry

      Hey Rachel-

      If you’re around come down and join us at the corner of Cliff and First Avenue in EG Sunday 6/7 at 1pm. Bring a sign! For more info feel free to email [email protected]

      Reply
  11. Julie

    Harry and Isabelle – I walked by you yesterday and am thankful for your time and willingness to amplify this message.

    Reply
    • H

      Julie! We’ll be down there again sunday 6/7 at 1pm- come by if you can-

      Reply
  12. Judi Zimmer

    See you on Sunday!

    Reply
  13. Mike in EG

    This story demonstrates exactly why the #BlackLivesMatter message needs to be heard in every town! See you Sunday.

    Reply
  14. Samantha

    Met you yesterday with my sister! Glad I found the story and I’m glad that there will be another protest! This is important. Change is long overdue. I truly believe that silence is violence an we need to speak up about this injustice!

    Reply
  15. Cecilia

    Hi Harry and Isabelle I think what your doing is great and I’ll be there.

    Reply
  16. Cecilia Trinidad

    Hi Harry and Isabelle I think what your doing is great and I’ll be there. #BlackLivesMatter

    Reply
    • Anasofia Trinidad

      Black Lives Matter and I’ll be there Sunday.#BlackLivesMatter

      Reply
  17. Judi Zimmer

    Of course all lives matter, but all lives are not consistently being taken or seriously harmed by police officers. If you do not think that generally speaking, black people are treated differently by police officers, you are incorrect and should try to find out more. Blacks and whites are already divided, and will continue to be so until more white people realize that black lives matter. Come to the demonstration, Charles, and talk to other demonstrators to start understanding the undeniable and tragic facts of racism.

    Reply
  18. Chris and Jan

    You will not be alone on Sunday!

    Reply

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