ONEONTA RALLY PEACEFUL
Hundreds In Muller Plaza
Join National Call For Justice
Perhaps as many as 500 people rallied peacefully in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza this afternoon to hear Rev. LaDana Clark, a former police officer, above, say, “Most of our police are trying to do the right thing, but it’s the bad apples have to be checked and removed! There can be no peace as long as an officer can place his knee on the neck of a black man and take his life in front of our eyes!” As is happening nationwide, SUNY Oneonta student Sadie Starr Lincoln, Oneonta, inset left, organized this afternoon’s protest calling for justice and an end to racism following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Other speakers included SUNY students Johnson Brown and Kimberly Miller; Rev. Craig Schwalenberg, pastor, Unitarian Universalist Society and Shannon McHugh, a member of the city’s Community Relations & Human Rights Commission. Attendees were urged to vote, to speak out when they see incidents of racism and to join the NAACP, Oneonta chapter; Rev. Cynthia Walton-Leavitt of the Red Door Church was on site with NAACP membership applications. The crowd filled Muller Plaza and spread across the street. Since social distancing was difficult, organizers urged attendees to be tested for COVID-19 following the gathering. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Minor Correction: Rev. Craig Schwalenberg serves as minister to the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta.
As I attended this rally, and remember many rallies from the past, including my mother organizing a march with her friend Millie Johnston with MLKjr, when I was 8 and didn’t have a clue, my aunt being honored by the NAACP in Dover DE in 1972, as the first (and only?) white treasurer, many many marches around Long Island, my young sons doing PSAs for CH 12 News? It occurred to me? We can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, we need to raise our expectations! We need to be the change we want to see, it starts with each of us as an individual. Let’s not wait for another catastrophe, lets embrace change, and remember growing pains hurt, but go forward without fear, and trust in our inherent goodness.