Protesters Planning to Demonstrate During the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony
A grassroots group upset about two separate grand juries’ decisions not to indict white police officers for the deaths of unarmed black men are planning to meet and rally Thursday night on Boston Common, at the same time that Mayor Marty Walsh and hundreds of people are expected to take in the annual tree lighting ceremony.
According to a Facebook page put together by members of the group “We Are the Ones,” called “Enough Is Enough,” protesters will be rallying against a New York City grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer who put Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, in a chokehold, killing him.
“In response to the no indictment verdict of the police officer who murdered Eric Garner, we will be standing in solidarity at the Boston Common Tree Lighting! Bring your signage, energy, and a friend!,” the group said in a statement on their Facebook page. The event is being supported by members of “Black Lives Matter Boston.”
The grand jury’s announcement, which was handed down Wednesday, resulted in large protests in New York City. The news also comes on the heels of another grand jury decision not to bring charges against Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, back in August. That verdict led to more than 1,400 people flooding the streets of Boston to show support for Brown and his family.
The group planning to rally at the same time as the annual tree lighting ceremony, which takes place at 7 p.m. and annually draws hundreds of attendees, is meeting at the Loews Theatre just across the street from the Common before beginning their march. More than 4,000 people have said they plan on attending, according to the Facebook details of the event.
Boston reached out to both Walsh’s office, to ask if the event will be delayed or if the mayor is concerned that the protests will interfere with the holiday celebration, as well as the group organizing the peaceful protests. Neither Walsh, nor event organizers, immediately responded to request for comment.