WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Watertown joined dozens of other American cities Saturday afternoon, as demonstrators rallied to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck.
The demonstration was noisy but peaceful, starting at the 10th Mountain Division monument in Thompson Park and ending as dozens of cars slowly circled Public Square downtown, while other protesters stood on the square, raising clenched fists or peace signs and chanting slogans.
“We’ve been seeing headline after headline of a lot of unjust killings inside of our country. And, I feel like something needs to be done about it," said Gené Robinson, rally organizer.
"I’m a firm believer, if you want to see change, you need to be a part of the change.”
7 News reporter Keir Chapman, on scene, said the rally lasted for about an hour.
Tashae Freeman Savage went to the rally with her family.
“I have black sons, I have a black daughter," she said. "And, this is sadly the reality that we live in these days. And, it seems like nothing’s going to change.
"So, we kind of just have to take the power into our own hands, and be a voice to what’s happening right now.”
It was a theme heard over and over again Saturday.
Janice Brown said “We have to change. We’ve been doing this all of my life, and we’re still at point zero.”
The protest drew people of different races from across the north country.
“People decided to show up all different ethnicities and colors from different places around the world, and it’s a beautiful thing," said Robinson, the organizer.
"That’s the great thing about America, we all come from places and it’s time to celebrate that.”
Protests have erupted across the country after Floyd’s death, and they have led to increasingly chaotic nights in some major cities, including Minneapolis, where Floyd’s death occurred. Military police from Fort Drum have reportedly been put on alert to respond to Minneapolis to assist local police and National Guard.