Hundreds fill downtown Hudson for police brutality protest

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By Dakota Antelman, Contributing Writer

A protester holds a sign as the sun sets behind her, June 8.

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)

A dog wears its own sandwich board proclaiming the popular protest slogan “no justice, no peace!”
Three protesters cross Main St. in Hudson to join the larger mass of demonstrators on the town hall lawn.
A protester holds a sign while another watches the crowd before him.
US Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Lowell) holds a handmade sign with her daughter next to her during her visit to the Hudson protest.
A man waves to passing cars during Hudson’s protest.
Hudson’s Town Hall stands in the background behind a sea of protesters filling its lawn, June 8.
Hudson’s Town Hall stands in the background behind a sea of protesters filling its lawn, June 8.
A protester holds a sign amid Hudson’s protest.
A protest leader raises a fist, leading a chant.
Protesters line Main St. in Hudson in a crowd that spilled off the town hall lawn and towards the downtown rotary.
A woman hula-hoops during Hudson’s protest, June 8.
Protesters kneel in memory of black men and women killed by police, June 8.
A line of protesters kneels against a bush on the Hudson Town Hall lawn.
A man holds a sign and raises his fists as other protesters cheer, June 8.
Protesters kneel as others raise fists during a moment of silence, June 8.
Protesters kneel as others raise fists during a moment of silence, June 8.
A young protester raises his fist in solidarity, June 8. Riding his bike through downtown, he happened upon the protest by chance, dismounted and quietly paused, raising his fist in the air.