NEWBURYPORT – A chanting, cheering, sign-waving crowd of more than 200 people lined the streets of Market Square on Friday afternoon to call for justice for George Floyd and an end to systemic racism in the U.S.
As a band played, protesters hoisted signs with the names of Floyd – the black man killed on Memorial Day when he was pinned to a Minneapolis street by a police officer – Breonna Taylor, Jamar Clark, Philando Castile, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Botham Jean and many other African-Americans killed by police in recent years across the country.
Floyd's death resulted in the firing and charging of four Minneapolis police officers and sparked hundreds of protests across the country. Protests have taken place in the last week in Newburyport, Amesbury, Salem, Lawrence, Ipswich and other North Shore communities.
The Friday protest also included a tribute to Floyd when most of those attending knelt for almost nine minutes in silence, the amount of time Floyd was pinned to the ground.
During that commemoration, a recording to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving his iconic "I've been to the mountaintop" speech played over a loudspeaker.