Protests over racial injustice were again held Saturday across the state of Massachusetts, as momentum for reform continues in the wake of George Floyd's death.
Hundreds of people showed up Saturday afternoon in Cambridge at a Black Lives Matter event. The large group gathered on Cambridge Common for a rally around 4 p.m. before marching down Massachusetts Ave. They say this isn't just about marching. It's about progress.
"We want to see this as a moment where things get done," organizer Ashia Wilson said.
The group marched roughly two miles from Harvard Square to Kendall Square, pausing briefly outside Cambridge City Hall. They ended their march outside the Cambridge Police Department's headquarters.
Wilson says they've made some progress with the city but noted there's still a lot more work ahead.
"I think they understand that we do not feel it's enough, and they say they're listening, and we hope that translates into action," she said. "So, we'll see."
The protesters have three main objectives. The first is to defund Cambridge police, which was evident in signs being carried by demonstrators. Second, the group says they want the government to invest in Black communities. And third, the protesters want Trump out of office and they are calling on him to resign.
The killing of Floyd has sparked demonstrations nationwide as the country reckons with its racial and police history. There have been dozens of events in Massachusetts, nearly all of them peaceful, including many that were held on Friday, which was Juneteenth, the commemoration date of the end of slavery in the U.S.
Among the events scheduled to be held across the state Saturday are:
Lynn Prevent the Cycle: Simultaneous demonstrations, sponsored by the North Shore Juneteenth Association, will be held in Wyoma Square, Market Basket Rotary, Lynn City Hall, Red Rock Park, Boston Street Stop and Shop, and Central Square at 11 a.m.
Hampton NH Stand Up to Racism: A protest to denounce racism is planned from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Boardwalk Café, 139 Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach, NH.
Rockland Black Lives Matter: A rally in solidarity with Black Lives Matter is slated for 2 p.m. at Union and Market Streets in Rockland.
Boston People's Forum: A People's Forum to create space for people to talk about the rallies over the last two weeks will be held at 3 p.m. at Playstead Field, Franklin Park, Boston.
Cambridge Defend Black Lives: A rally to support Black communities is scheduled for 4 p.m. Demonstrators will march from the Cambridge Common to Kendall Sq., Cambridge.
There were also pro-police rallies planned on Saturday in Walpole, Wayland and Quincy.
On Friday, members of Congress Ayanna Pressley and Joe Kennedy III attended an event in Dorchester where protesters called for Juneteenth to become a state and federal holiday.
Mayor Marty Walsh held a ceremony where the green, red and black Juneteenth flag was raised at City Hall.
Black organizers and activists spoke with NBC10 Boston this week about the history of Juneteenth in Boston and why this year feels different in the wake of Floyd’s death and in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Who wants to celebrate slavery, you know? Put that behind us, forget that," said Jumaada Smith, chairperson of the Boston Juneteenth Committee. "But then there was a school of thought that, you know, we have a history. We have to realize what happened to us. Everybody came over on a boat but we came over in a different way."
Other Upcoming Social Justice Events in Mass.
Sunday, June 21
Boston Fight for Justice: A March and Speak Out, hosted by the Answer Coalition Boston and PSL Boston - Party for Socialism and Liberation, is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in Franklin Park, Boston.
Monday, June 22
Roxbury Juneteenth for Rayshard Brooks: Violence In Boston Inc. and Black Lives Matter Boston will host a march from the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center to the State House demanding that Gov. Charlie Baker reallocate funding from police to social justice and violence prevention from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury.
West Roxbury Vigil: A weekly vigil for Black Lives is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. in the Holy Name Rotary, West Roxbury.
More Coverage on Juneteenth
There's been a renewed push by individual states and a growing number of corporations to recognize Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, as an official holiday.