To the Editor:
It was impressive how Acting Chief Bernegger and the entire Watertown Police Department handled the Black Lives Matter protest on June 8. Watertown provided a level of openness and understanding that many have not experienced elsewhere.
Unfortunately, I did witness instances of anger and aggressive behavior by passersby. One man was so busy trying to drive with both middle fingers extended, he almost rear ended a vehicle stopped while police allowed a pedestrian to cross. Certainly, if an accident had happened, the protesters would have been to blame.
Another man wailed that all lives matter and a woman screamed blue lives matter. Of course they do. This movement is about the systemic oppression of people of color in our country - period. It is unfortunate those drivers did not listen to the stories being told of the racism people in our own community experience. Knowledge and understanding go a long way. Sadly, many don’t care to see others treated equally as they are afraid it would somehow diminish them.
I want to thank the organizers: Vanessa Barbino, Davianna Rae Larocque, Colleen Murphy, Karina Sorensen and Chelsea Larlee for putting such a lovely event together. The First Congregational Church kindly donated water and Jandaya donated snacks. People of color are hurting right now over a number of horrific events and these people voluntarily gave our community an avenue to show support and compassion.