COOPERSTOWN PROTEST SUNDAY
DELHI – Organizers said more than 700 people filled Delhi’s Courthouse Square today and lined the town’s Main Street for a protest and “living memorial” to honor black lives.
The number topped an estimated 500 last Sunday in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza. A third local protest, one of hundreds nationwide, is planning at 1 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday) in front of the Otsego County Courthouse in Cooperstown.
The protest were provoked by the death of George Floyd while he was being taking into custody in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd’s death came just weeks after the killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Ga.
As part of the event, markers with the names and faces of over 30 black victims of police, from Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner to George Floyd, were planted in the grass of the town square. Participants bent to read the names and laid flowers next to each marker, creating a temporary memorial in the center of Delhi to Black lives lost. The memorial was placed in front of the “Soldier’s Monument,” which honors all those from the county who died fighting the Confederacy in the Civil War.
“These are difficult, but historic and necessary times,” said Quinn Kelley, who helped organize the event. “The systemic racism that has been prevalent in our society for far too long needs to come to an end. But it’s going to take everyone’s effort.”
“We’re here as a monument to Black lives and we’re here to mourn,” Christina Hunt Wood, an event organizer, told the crowd. “But we must also be here to take an oath that we will do the uncomfortable work of looking racism straight in the eye…that we’ll reflect on our own participation within a system built around white supremacy.”
After the speeches, a song and a poem, protesters spread out along both sides of Main Street, holding signs and cheering to the frequent honks of passing cars. Their line spanned nearly half a mile.