Photos, Video: After George Floyd’s Death, Easton Protesters Demand End to Racism

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Easton Rally Protest Racism

Protesters carry signs at a march inspired by the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white Minnesota police officer. Demonstrators marched peacefully down Northampton Street in Easton, following a rally at which speakers proclaimed “enough is enough” and urged those present to use their voices to bring an end to racism in the United States.

Anger over what they believe is systemic and deadly racism could be heard in the voices of nearly a thousand protesters who rallied for change at Centre Square and marched through downtown Easton Sunday shouting “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe,” but there was no aggression exhibited toward city police, who were present at the event.

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, many major U.S. cities have played host to protests, some of which have turned violent as a minority of participants have fought police tactical and other units, looted businesses and even burned buildings.

The event in Easton was the third held in the Lehigh Valley in memory of Floyd over the weekend and followed peaceful protests held in Bethlehem and Allentown Saturday.

Sunday’s event appeared to draw more participants than the previous day’s two protests did, however like the other two, demonstrators reflected a diversity of ages and races not always seen locally.

One scene that seemed to captured the dark but defiant mood of the protesters occurred when one individual laid down on Northampton Street and re-enacted the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was suffocated by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes as he said “I can’t breathe” and begged for help.

As the protester appeared lifeless on the ground, a woman portraying Floyd’s mother symbolically walked over and stood next to him, held up a sign up that said “Mama please, I can’t breathe” and symbolically gave him the voice that was stolen from him.

This terrifying and tragic tableau briefly mesmerized the people who formed a circle around it, before they continued to march down Northampton Street and around the square to Third Street, where the phalanx moved south past Easton City Hall.

Marchers–most of whom held handmade signs–then made a right turn onto Washington Street and finally a right onto Ferry Street before returning to Northampton and marching back to the square; a lap that was repeated several times, although some protesters remained in Centre Square following completion of the first loop.

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✊ Sunday's protest against the murder of George Floyd and other acts of police violence affecting minorities drew a large and diverse crowd--possibly a thousand people or better--to downtown Easton. Demonstrators marched from Centre Square past city hall and then back around again chanting messages like "Enough is enough" and "Black lives matter." More later @ . . . . . #BlackLivesMatter #BLM #protest #GeorgeFloyd #sayhisname #march #racism #justice #nojusticenopeace #handsupdontshoot #police #voices #icantbreathe #protesters #eastonpa #pennsylvania #louder #diversity #peace #demonstration #signs #unity #city #america #news #tension #youth #covid #enough #enoughisenough

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Most protestors wore face masks in accordance with a Pennsylvania Health Department mandate issued due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some wrote “I Can’t Breathe” and other messages on them; messages that have become synonymous with the largely grassroots movement to end racism that began in the wake of Floyd’s death.

Social distancing guidelines weren’t strictly followed at any of the three protests, however due to the number of participants involved, it likely would have been difficult in practice for each individual to remain at least six feet apart from all other individuals at all times.

Protesters shouted things like “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” and “No Justice, No Peace!” as they marched down Northampton Street in Easton Sunday to draw attention to racism and the deaths of minorities at the hands of white police officers.

Protesters filled the streets of downtown Easton Sunday, demanding a change to the racist attitudes they say are systemic–and deadly–to minorities in America. This view of the protest was taken from inside a stairwell of the Third Street Parking Garage.

“I can’t breathe” were some of the last words spoken by George Floyd, who was killed when a police officer knelt on his neck. The movement that has sprung up since his death has adopted them as a rallying cry to end racism in the United States.

Protesters carry signs that say things like “Stand Together, Well Do Better” and “Black Lives Matter” on Ferry Street in Easton Sunday. The protest was organized after the death of George Floyd, who many Americans died as a result of racism that is widespread in the country and among police forces.

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