Six Months of Black Lives Matter Protests in Woodbury

Barbie+Granton+holds+a+%22Hate+Has+No+Home+Here%22+sign+at+a+Black+Lives+Matter+protest+in+Woodbury+on+Nov.+1.+The+Black+Lives+Matter+protests+have+been+happening+for+about+six+months.

Izzy DiNunzio

Barbie Granton holds a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign at a Black Lives Matter protest in Woodbury on Nov. 1. The Black Lives Matter protests have been happening for about six months.

Izzy DiNunzio, Reporter

WOODBURY — In the pouring rain Nov. 1, protesters stood on the green on Main Street holding up Black Lives Matter signs. People drove by honking and cheering them on. 

Protests like this, which have been happening for the last six months, were sparked around the world by the death of George Floyd, a African-American male who was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25. Video evidence shows an officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck while Floyd says, “I can’t breathe.” According to Time Magazine, 93% of the protests are peaceful.

Local protestors say that these movements are important, especially in smaller towns.

“I went around to different rallies in the area to see what our state and people were doing,” said Jeremy Farrell, one of the protestors in Woodbury. “I came across these two great groups in Woodbury and Southbury. They are doing the work, they’re putting in the effort, they’re standing up for the community, and I just want to be here and support them in doing that. This is the beginning of something. In other places it’s even stronger, and this is us trying to bring the power here.”

According to Farrell, in Woodbury’s neighboring town of Southbury, there are 60 to 70 people who show up every Sunday to protest from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Most people who show up at the Woodbury protests come from Southbury and can be seen there until 5 p.m.

For Farrell, participating in these protests is an extension of his work to help disadvantaged populations.

“I do a lot with the disabled community,” Farrell said. “I’m an advocate for the autistic community professionally. I work with a lot of disadvantaged people, and I’ve worked with a lot of Black people who are disabled who have had a lot of bad experiences with the police.”

Barbie Granton, another person protesting in Woodbury, said she spent several hours protesting.

“We realized our neighbors up the street are on the same page as supporting ‘Hate Has No Home Here,’” Granton said, referring to the lawn signs that can be seen throughout the area. “We believe that as far as Black Lives Matter goes, all lives can’t matter until black lives matter equally.”

A lot of young people are getting more and more involved in this movement and in the community. Granton and Farrell say that kids, especially people of color, have to deal with unkind words and slurs. 

A couple weeks ago at Nonnewaug, many advisories participated in the Walk Against Hate. Students walked for the 15-minute period to champion different causes, such as peace, love, and racial justice. 

“I walked as an alliance member to the LGBTQ+ [community] because there are amazing people in my life that are a part of that community,” said freshman Samara Thomas. 

Black Lives Matter protests continue to take place on the green in Woodbury every Sunday from 3:30-5 p.m.

Sarah Edelson Baskin holds a “Black Lives Matter” sign at a protest in Woodbury on Nov. 1.