Anti-police Brutality Movement Set to Grow in Boston
By Sharanya Pillai
BU News Service
Dorchester and Roxbury may see more protests against police brutality in upcoming months, according to organizers of Wednesday’s march in solidarity with Baltimore, who said that they will ramp up their presence in the inner Boston area.
On Wednesday evening, activist group Mass Action Against Police Brutality led more than 500 protesters from the Boston Police Headquartersat 1 Schroeder Plaza to Dudley Square, aiming to show solidarity with Baltimore residents protesting the death of Freddie Gray, who died after being detained by police last week.
Mass Action member Brenden Larosa, 19, said that the group wants to move away from downtown Boston and engage residents“where the real struggle is”.
“The inner city is where most of the effects are felt, of oppression and police brutality, of capitalism and imperialism,” said Larosa,a sociology major at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. “These kids are struggling from birth, they’re growing up to be revolutionaries.It’s different from growing up where you have everything handed to you.”
While police presence was stepped up at the protest, with dozens of officers following the march on bicycles, Boston Police SuperintendentLisa Holmes said that the force will not interfere. “I understand the anger and the outrage, and they definitely have the right to protest. We’re just here to make sure they don’t get hit by cars,” she said.
Other protestors at the march voiced their support for further action, but on some conditions.
Brandie Skorker, founder of feminist group Guerilla Feminism Boston, felt that protests against police brutality have been “mostly about men”, and wants more representation for women and transgender people in protests against police brutality.
“These rallies don’t talk about black women and girls. And I feel it’s erasing stories of black trans women who are disproportionately targeted for violence,” the 28-year-old said. “I want to let trans women of color know that what they’re experiencing is valid and needs to be talked about more.”
Other protestors, like Larry Fuller Jr., 58, reiterated that violence should never be a solution. “I just want folks to keep calm. I don’t understand how people would be so devastated that they would destroy their own homes. We’re above that. I hope that we set an example for peace in this city, and I want to be part of that.”
First-aid volunteer Kim Robberts, 23, felt that the rally would set a good precedent for future action. “I’m loving the peacefulness today.The only injuries we’ve had are sore throats from chanting,” she quipped.
Mass Action will next hold a community organizing meeting at the Parker Hill Library on May 9.