COOPERSTOWN – Ten years after he was chased by an armed classmate from Cooperstown Park on a sunny Good Friday and shot, Wesley Lippitt recounted the events this afternoon on the lawn of the Otsego County Courthouse:
“Racism is here,” he testified to an almost completely white crowd that organizers estimated at about 800 people, gathered to rally for justice after George Floyd’s death on being taking into police custody May 25 in Minneapolis. “It’s a thing. It is time for all of us to open our eyes.”
Lippitt, then 16, was wounded when Anthony Pacherille, 15, later imprisoned for eight years, cornered him in the police station in the basement of Village Hall and fired.
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)
Over 100 people gathered in Muller Plaza this evening to rally in solidarity in response to the violence in Charlottesville, VA. and to denounce white supremacy. The gathering was organized by Craig Schwalenburg of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta. After an invocation by Schwalenburg, the mic was available for anyone to use to share their thoughts and experiences. Above, Christina Hunt Wood, above, Delhi, tells the crowd of her recent experiences at the Delaware County Fair when her protest group approached the Fair Board about banning the sale of Confederate flags, they were barred from the fairgrounds. The crowd closed the evening by singing “This Little Light of Mine.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
WRITERS CAMP – 1:30-3:30 p.m. Join Jen and the HML Writers Group for a NaNoWriMo style weekly workshop. Jen will present prompts and other activities to get you writing. Registration required. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. hmloneonta.org/calendar/