Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
On a beautiful spring Sunday, June 7, several of the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee members were present to accompany the peaceful and successful protest march organized by Cheshire High School students. It appeared that at least 500 people were gathered. Noticeably, there was a large police presence, many being young policewomen and men on bicycles.
I mentioned to one of them that I thought their entire police force was there and they smiled and agreed. All the side streets were appropriately blocked off with ropes and patrols at each corner.
After we initially gathered at Bartlem Park to muster our group with spirited calls by the Cheshire High School protest organizers, we proceeded to chant and march to the Town Hall where there were a few speeches from guests and students that commenced after everyone knelt on one knee for an extended period of silence. The speeches included an elderly black gentleman sharing the history of racism, and an emotional white woman, equally passionate. Andrew Jones, a friend of some Cheshire students, recited a poem entitled “The Crying” that he was inspired to write in the middle of the night. It was all so appropriate and meaningful.
Most everyone wore masks and respected social distancing with one exception — a family of four protestors, who I alerted the police about. However, after a short while of combative yelling at the speaker, they left. Everything else was peaceful and well organized.
The numerous signs were well composed with one that said, “If you don’t respect our existence, there may be resistance.”
I especially wanted to be present to support the students and share my outrage at the brutal killing of George Floyd. Racism and inequality have no place in society, where respect, dignity and compassion should prevail. This protest march was an opportunity for us to unite and express our feelings in our home town.
Thanks so much to our wonderful high school students and kudos to you all.