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New Rochelle Rallies For Justice,
By Stephen E. Lipken
Approximately 40 citizens, elected officials and clergy gathered on the front steps of New Rochelle City Hall, on Sunday, May 31st, rallying in memory of George Floyd, 46 who died on Monday, May 25th in Minneapolis, MN as a result of a police restraining hold to his neck. Floyd was detained for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill and restrained for allegedly resisting arrest.
All participants were masked, except for brief times that they spoke on the podium. Mayor Noam Bramson welcomed the City Council; County Executive George Latimer; Congressman Eliot Engel; NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Legislators Terry Clements, Damon Maher, Catherine Parker; Assemblyman Steve Otis; Kathie Davidson, Administrative Judge, 9th District; School Board President Amy Moselhi and members; Library President Diedre Clark, board members and City Manager Charles B. Strome III, introducing Reverend Denise Smartt Sears, who rendered the Invocation.
Two Rabbis were present, David Schuck, Beth El Synagogue Center and Scott Weiner, Temple Israel New Rochelle.
“Why are we still talking about eradicating racism in 2020,” Sears asked. “G-d created humanity in His own image and G-d blessed us.”
“This afternoon we are united, black, white and brown,” Bramson continued. “We are united in grieving for the family of George Floyd and united in our determination to seek justice... We are united in advocating for peace, here in our own City...”
“I stand here with a heavy heart and troubled spirit,” New Rochelle Branch NAACP President Minister Mark McLean, stressed. “We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Martin Luther King once said, ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.’”
“I am a son of the Jim Crow South, where segregation was practiced against our race,” Pastor Allen Paul Weaver, Jr. observed. “I stand here today, proud to be an African-American.”
After brief remarks from Councilwoman Yadira Ramos-Herbert and Kyla Golding, 18, Reverend Robert Gahler, Trinity St. Paul’s Episcopal Church gave the Benediction.
The Beth El Synagogue Center, New Rochelle, Clergy stated:
As faith leaders, we affirm every American’s right to peacefully protest and we simultaneously condemn all acts of violence committed by and against protesters. The harm that these riots have caused to innocent people cannot be tolerated. We pray for peace, equality, and a day when our country will stand united against injustice.