By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Several hundred protesters packed the town hall lawn, then stretched down two more blocks of downtown Hudson, June 8, in solidarity with the national Black Lives Matter movement.
Gathering after a week that saw protests fan out across the region, the event drew immense participation from area youth while also attracting the attention of elected officials including Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Lowell), whose Third Congressional District includes Hudson.
“I haven’t seen anything quite like this in my lifetime,” Trahan said. “This is the catalyst and accelerant that we need to turn apathy and inaction into policy and change.”
Trahan stood behind the densest part of the crowd, which pushed against Main St., holding a handmade sign with her young daughter by her side. Deeper within the mass before her, state level politicians Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) and Kate Hogan (D-Stow) also mingled.
“We’re standing with solidarity with the black and brown community that for too long hasn’t felt valued in our country,” Trahan said.
Hudson’s protest came exactly two weeks after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, a black man, by pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. That act, caught on tape by multiple bystanders, reignited mass outrage over police brutality, spawning a national protest movement that’s drawn thousands into city streets despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As the region protested throughout the past week, however, Hudson was one of the only area towns without organized demonstrations.
Still, outrage over George Floyd’s death persisted in the local online groups. Seeing that, primary protest organizer Julie Pote took action.
“This is where I live,” she said. “It’s my community and I knew people would come out to support.”
Speaking holding a stroller where her two African American children sat, Pote said this whole effort is for those kids.
She wants a better world for them.
Seeing others joining in that call for change, Pote said she was overjoyed.
“It’s completely amazing,” she said. “I never anticipated it being this big and I couldn’t be more proud of this community.”
(Photos by/Dakota Antelman)