BY JIM MAHONEY & JOSH RESNEK
A small but stirring memorial for George Floyd, the unarmed black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis almost two weeks ago, was organized by younger people in the city’s Black community and held at Glendale Park Sunday from 6-8 p.m..
Protests against racism have riveted the nation since Floyd was killed and his killers jailed.
The protests have been worldwide, highlighting the scourge of racism and what it does to our society as well as to those who are the recipients of it.
A wide range of passionate, youthful speakers delivered eulogies for Floyd as well as speaking out about racial justice.
Crowd estimates ranged from 150-200, according to local police.
The crowd was largely black and Hispanic.
Everyone was wearing facemasks and socially distancing.
It was a racially mixed event with many young white people attending as well.
The speakers decried police brutality and racism.
Last week, the city government held a Zoom vigil for Floyd, with several public officials and a few religious leaders expressing their sentiments.
There were no elected public officials at Sunday’s gathering at Glendale Park, a situation which suited the younger people – as more than a few of them told the Leader Herald.
The event was entirely peaceful, Everett Police noted.
Two Everett police bike officers stood nearby the gathering in the park with a additional police officers nearer to Elm Street as the event took place.
Several of those who gathered wore t-shirts with inspirational wording written on them like “Unarmed” or “I don’t want to die.”
Many of the speakers urged a continuing vocal presence or called for changes to policing policies and politics, and they called for “continuing the dialogue.”
The unprecedented demonstrations throughout the United States and all over the world due to Floyd’s senseless death appears to have created a new pandemic of protest about racism, and in some places, have resulted in outbreaks of violence and looting.
Locally, the temperature has been tepid about the issues.
Public officials here like the mayor have paid lip service to the racism issue.
The city’s employment of nearly all white department heads and employees at city hall and in the school department reveals an ethnic city at odds with itself.
Less than 5% of the city’s workforce is non-white.
Advertised on Facebook as a Black Youth vigil and titled, Moment to Breath, it sought to memorialize the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade and other Black lives that have been stolen by police violence.
The vigil was organized by Lorna Closeil and Fanelson Monexant of Everett.
“We got feedback from many people that this vigil was so intimate, and it was nothing like they’ve seen before, and that is the testament to what happens when we can dream and work from a place of love. I want to thank the other wonderful and brilliant youth organizers: Emeka Amogu, Carolina Penaflor, Lucia Seide, Fabrice Jacques, Sabine Jacques, Obed Jean Pierre, Jailene Paz, Fanelson Monexant. I am an awe and love each and every one of these wonderful people,” Closeil wrote on Facebook.