Roselle officials, residents praise peaceful demonstration
Roselle officials and protest organizers say communication and cooperation between the village and participating residents resulted in a successful and peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration that they hope will lead to further "healing" dialogue.
The protest last Friday, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and other cases of police brutality against the black community across the country, was one of many such demonstrations that are continuing across the suburbs and nation.
The protests have spurred widespread discussion and reevaluation by lawmakers, community leaders and corporate entities to take a stance against racial inequality.
At Monday's village board meeting, Mayor Andy Maglio and community members praised efforts by organizers, village administrators and police to ensure protesters were able to peacefully get their message across.
"By reaching out and working together, the message was able to be communicated and peace reigned in the community," Roselle resident Roberta Barrino said. "Here's hoping this is a beginning of a healing dialogue that should've been completed years ago."
Aaron Reeves, a 19-year-old black actor, model and activist, was one of several who spoke during the protest.
"Fifty years from now, when they look in these history books, they're gonna know that you guys stood up for something," Reeves said.
Reeves said it not his first protest, but it was one that made him truly feel like there was solidarity around what he was fighting for.
He said racism has affected his everyday life, from racial slurs to microaggressions in public places. He hopes his platform as an artist will elevate others.
"2020 is the year for change," Reeves said. "Change comes with unity; unity comes with love."