Shrewsbury students hold peaceful day long Black Lives Matter protest

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yBy Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

(l to r) Tammy Pedjoe, Caitlin Kane and Rebecca Aanane

Shrewsbury – If these were normal times, Shrewsbury High School seniors Tammy Pedjoe, Caitlin Kane and Rebecca Aanane would have been continuing to celebrate their recent high school graduations. But these are not normal times. And although the students did commemorate their graduations in non-traditional ways due to the pandemic, they also chose to focus their attention on another issue gripping the issue – the recent killing of George Floyd and to remember lives lost because of racial inequality.

The three young women organized a day long protest June 6 at the Shrewsbury Town Common, holding signs while also wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

When asked why holding a protest was important to them, Caitlin shared, “I don’t want to grow up in a society where my kids have to stand out here and do this.”

“I feel like just because it’s a town where it’s not as diverse doesn’t mean that you can’t hold something like this and people won’t support it so I said we just go for it,” Rebecca added.

And Tammy noted that there although there are not often many protests in Shrewsbury, especially about racial injustice, it was important for the town to see the students speaking out on the subject.

Although most who drove by the Town Common offered support by honking horns, the students noted there were some who chose to yell negative comments or foul language.

“I am always inspired by our youth.  I am grateful to my daughter Caitlin, Rebecca and Tammy for organizing this peaceful black lives matter protest and to all the community members who came out to the Town Common today, and on other days,” State Rep. Hannah Kane, who came out to support her daughter, said. “[It was a way] to honor George Floyd’s life and recognize his and other black lives that were extinguished unjustifiably, and the work we must do to eliminate racism.”

Caitlin is thinking of going into law enforcement and will be attending Endicott College in the fall while Tammy will attend Pace University and Rebecca will head off to Howard University.