Residents Mobilize to Fight Racism

by | Jun 17, 2020

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The original EG protest June 3.

It started with two people and a sign on a stick in a bucket at the corner of First Avenue and Cliff Street June 3 (read more HERE). They were protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and seeking justice. That small protest prompted a larger demonstration a few days later, with between 250 and 300 people on that same corner and lots more signs and chanting (read more HERE).

By the time of that second protest, a new Facebook group had formed: EG Families for Justice. Their mission: “To work to dismantle systemic racism and to actively build an antiracist and multicultural community.” 

Town Manager Andrew Nota, who attended the June 7 demonstration, spoke about the need for East Greenwich to address systemic racism at a Town Council meeting June 8 (read more HERE). 

Now another event is planned, a Black Lives Matter protest march Saturday, June 20, at 6 p.m., starting at the Old Jail at King and Water streets. The plan is to march up King Street to Town Hall. 

Organizer Johann Patlak said via text he wanted “to continue the energy from the EG protest two weeks ago. It is easy to show up for one protest, but much harder to create sustained work towards positive change at the local level.” 

He added, “Protests must be paired with ongoing efforts on the social and legislative fronts.” 

You can find Patlak’s @egracialjustice on Instagram.


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