By Carol Tannenhauser
Friday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, the oldest commemoration of the actual ending of slavery in the United States. It is the day in 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after it was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as an executive order. (Read the full story on history.com )
Juneteenth takes on greater meaning this year in light of the protests against police brutality and systemic racism that are rocking the nation. Traditionally a day of celebration, mourning and prayer, Juneteenth will be recognized on the Upper West Side on Friday, from 5 to 6 p.m., on both sides of Broadway at 96th Street. The names of those lost to racial violence will be read, with a bell rung for each one. The event was organized by a group called Veterans for Peace, who sent the following invitation:
Dear friends and neighbors,
Please attend a one-hour memorial for the innumerable black people who continue to be murdered by the police and racist vigilantes. The memorial will take place at 96th Street and Broadway, on north and south sides, on June 19, a special day, as Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US.
We will read in unison the names of those murdered and ring a bell for each stolen life. Tragically, this may not be a complete list as there are many more whose names may not have been published.
There will be a banner that says Take Your Knee Off His Neck. If you want to bring a sign, please limit it to “Defund the Police”, “Black Lives Matter”, or the name of a person murdered by law enforcement.
We expect that all protesters will respect each other by wearing masks and observing at least 6’ of distancing to keep us all safe.
SAY THEIR NAMES
Friday, June 19
5 PM-6 PM
Broadway at 96th Street
Does anyone have more info on this event? I’ve checked the Facebook page for Veterans for Peace NYC and there is no mention of the event. Googling yields no hits besides this article.
This was not a VFP event but they received word of it and were kind enough to forward to their lists. This memorial was organized by a couple of people in the neighborhood. Thanks so close to 200 people who attended and we hope to do this again soon. Re signs, it is not to stifle freedom of speech but to focus on the particular issue-a memorial to black people who have been murdered by police. Signs inform passersby and drivers know immediately what this event is about.
While the spirit of the event is laudable, it’s ironically heavy-handed to dictate what attendees should put on their signs. I’m not about to surrender freedom of speech in the process of recognizing the deprived rights of others.
I don’t think you understand how freedom of speech works. The government cannot restrict your freedom of speech. A private organizer of an event asking you to respect their area of focus is well within their rights. If you want to put something else on your sign, take it to a different event.
Thanks, Joe, for your comment. That is exactly right.
Hopefully it will be a peaceful gathering
It was wonderful- respectful and moving. Passersby joined us, all in masks, and traffic kept up a steady stream of honks and cheers!
The American Experiment has been a failure. And as Leonard Cohen said: You’re not going to like what comes after America”.
It was powerful to be together last week for the outpouring of solidarity and support Street and to Say Their Names and to never forget the anguishing number of people of color murdered by police and vigilantes.
This Friday, June 26, you are invited to gather once more to bear witness to endless injustices by law enforcement. We will Say Their Names- all their names- with focus on women, particularly 26 year old EMT Breonna Taylor, shot 8 times in her home by Louisville police on March 13, 2020.
Malcolm X stated in 1962: “The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Nothing has changed.
Signs with the names of victims will be appreciated.
We expect that all attendees will respect each other by wearing masks and observing at least 6 feet of distancing to keep us all safe.
SAY THEIR NAMES
FRIDAY. JUNE 26
96th Street and Broadway