"I can't breathe."

Youth demonstrate at Peabody Square/courthouse

Peabody, Mass. June 4, 2020. Young people of Peabody demonstrated at the Peabody courthouse on behalf of human rights in wake of the cruel murder of George Floyd, who died after he cried out, "I can't breathe."

...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.---John Donne

The demonstrators, overseen by several police, and cheered by passing motorists, called out for justice.

The demonstrators had rejected the effort of Peabody Mayor Bettencourt and/or the police to delay, but they decided that the urgency of the moral crisis in the country cannot wait for a more convenient day.

Our search for justice with respect to bullying and mobbing in housing is only a ripple compared to the storms affecting black and brown people. Let us work for justice not only in housing, but in every aspect of society, and for each and every human.

No one is free unless we are all free, and no one can breathe unless we all can.

The courage of these young people is a talisman of hope for the future.

Demonstrations are only the beginning

Our right to assemble to petition the government is a great gift that we must not take for granted. And after we have marched, sung, chanted, knelt, and returned home, the task has only begun.

We must organize, we must vote, we must organize, and we must advocate. And not only for ourselves.

As a first step, the Stop Bullying Coalition will support the work of the Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA).

For CHAPA, it means pushing even harder to make sure that all people have the opportunity for a safe, healthy, and affordable home in any community they choose. It means working at every level – local, state, and federal - to dismantle the barriers we constructed through zoning and land use that perpetuate segregation and inequality. It also means recommitting to listening to those closest to the pain and using our platform to elevate their voices.

Over CHAPA’s more than fifty-year history, we have borne witness to the causes and effects of exclusionary housing policies. We hope you will join us in working for effective change and just outcomes for all.---Rachel Heller, Chief Executive Officer, CHAPA

When we experience hostility or indifference in our public or subsidized housing, that is but an echo of the hundreds of years of slavery, deprivation of human rights, and redlining that has kept black people from enjoying the liberty and freedom promised to every American; and from home ownership. Let's work to make sure everyone has decent, affordable housing.

Demonstrators at courthouseYoung woman in white hat holds posterYouthful demonstrators at Peabody courthouse

Peabody demonstrates

Friday, June 6, 2020. Peaceful but loud, with people of every age, and many police.

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Peabody demonstration