Updated: Jun 26, 2020
A couple of weekends ago Staten Islanders participated in a set of historic protests. The first was Friday afternoon and was organized and led by the Young Leaders of Staten Island. They marched from Targee Street to the 122nd precinct on the South Shore. I got my daily alert from the Staten Island Advance that the protest was being covered. It was a largely peaceful protest with more than 200 people at the start and countless others joined along the way. Shane DiMaio, the SI Advance social media specialist, kept saying "he had not seen anything like it on Staten Island." Truth be told I hadn't either.
Protests aren’t new to Staten Island and I have attended quite a few but all have been on the North Shore where I felt comfortable and to be quite honest safer. After watching the success of the protests on Friday I knew I wanted to do something over the weekend. I wanted to be heard and surround myself with others who understood the pain I was feeling. Later that day on one of SIWWM’s core leaders, Tal Jasmin posted another protest that would be happening Sunday.
Initially, I was excited, until I saw that it was a South Shore protest. The flyer called out for white, anti-racist participants. I saw the power in having a protest particularly for them, but I also had reservations about going to the South Shore. Some of my reservations were based on prior experience but I was much more concerned about what was happening on social media. The week leading up to the protest was full of rumors and innuendo regarding the intentions to hold a protest on the South Shore. On Facebook there were tons of posts circulating that there w