Thousands Gather for George Floyd Vigil at Cadman Plaza

Brownstoner reports that thousands – perhaps as many as ten thousand – gathered in Cadman Plaza Park this afternoon for the vigil honoring George Floyd presented by his brother, Terrence Floyd, a Brooklyn resident. While the event was scheduled for 1:00 p.m., speakers did not arrive until about 2:00. Your correspondent was there to get some photos.IMG_3504There was much call-and-response chanting:IMG_3506“No justice!” “No peace!”

IMG_3515“Say his name!” “George Floyd!”

IMG_3521“Say her name!” “Breonna Taylor!”

As the Brownstoner story notes, a number of local elected officials spoke. Mayor de Blasio was booed, which led to an announcement that the event was to honor the memory of George Floyd, not to make political points. Terrence Floyd said he was “proud of the protest” but not “proud of the destruction” that had coincided with earlier demonstrations. Today’s was entirely peaceful.

Share this Story:

, , , , ,

  • Mike Suko

    2 highlights for me: (1) the speakers were almost uniformly impressive, even compelling. For all the talk of “diversity,” most of them were speaking as black people to black people – with a gracious “shout out” to the “rainbow” in front of them. I say that because I’m neither black nor young nor all that radical, but they were calling for CHANGE more pointedly than “revolution.”

    It shouldn’t have come to where it is in NYCity – as one speaker said, we should be the “beacon” to the rest of the country.

    But it has, and I’m feeling better about the high likelihood that NY’s next Mayor IS a person of color. Too bad we’re stuck with a cartoon character when we need a titan!

    (2) so minor in comparison, but I have bird’s eye view of the park, and it was cleaner within an hour of 10,000 people using it than it probably was 24 hours previously. The only reason for mentioning it is that it’s symptomatic of something like a 99% “decency rate” throughout these tense and various demonstrations among those participating. Both NY and the US have GOT to recognize this, because the alternative – that Trump is able to rekindle 1968-type fear-and-loathing (for young people and people of color) – is about the only thing that gives him a serious chance to be re-elected.

  • meschwar

    Also he could get re-elected through voter suppression. That seems pretty likely to me.

  • BJ

    First time post. BK Heights resident. I’m a white man, 30s. I went by the rally yesterday and within 5 minutes of being there (just outside the park) I was called a “cracker” by a black woman passing in a group. I’m not upset and totally understand the tension in this country right now. I also understand that there are a few bad apples in every group. Nonetheless, I felt out of place and left immediately. I wasn’t meaning to stay long anyway.

    Today, I went back to Cadman Plaza Park during my lunch break (working from home) and did a circuit work out. No one called me a cracker this time around!

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Welcome to BK Heights and BHB. I think that some of those who decided to move to the Heights and paid millions for their posh abodes in the neighborhood looking for peace and comfort in the tree lined streets and quaint row-houses, now hit with corona, riots and raucous demonstrations, are probably reevaluating the wisdom of their decision….


    Oh, almost forgot – throw in BQE reconstruction.

  • gc

    I’m a white man in my 70’s. I’ve lived in the Heights for 45 years. I’ve traveled the subways to a wide range of neighborhoods and was also at the rally yesterday and in no way felt out of place. In all those 45 years I’ve never been called a cracker or anything like that.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    It feels unpleasant to be called a rude word because of the color of your skin, huh.

  • Susan O’Doherty

    68-year-old woman who also attended the memorial. Nobody called me anything then but I have been called worse than cracker in my life (“white devil” was memorable). People get angry and express it verbally; that’s very far from a knee to the neck and we have the privilege of getting our feelings hurt and walking away.

  • Arch Stanton

    Sounds like she was spot on with her remark, inappropriate as in may be.

  • aeshtron

    Brooklyn and Manhattan D.A.’s announced that they will not prosecute protestors for simple curfew violations.

    My partner is a cracker. They accept the accuracy of the term as their skin is similar in color to saltine crackers.

    Black Lives Matter!

  • Jorale-man

    Once again, not a lot of social distancing to be seen in these photos. A good cause, but I do worry…

  • Claude Scales

    I was using the zoom on my iPhone for these photos, which compresses distance. Most of the time I was a good distance from anyone else.

  • Claude Scales

    An interesting item form today’s Daily News. This took place later Thursday evening:

    “Also on Thursday, cops covering a protest along Cadman Plaza West in Brooklyn Heights arrested two protesters in a car with Ohio plates filled with bricks, an air horn, a machete, a sword, several knives, gas mask and a power saw.

    “Other protesters told cops about the car with the weapons, officials said.”

  • regularmike

    Nobody cares.

  • regularmike

    Also worth mentioning that most cops are not even wearing masks.

  • B.

    No reason for “hurt feelings.” Anger’s more like it.

    As a born Brooklynite, I’ve been hassled, punched, mugged, and almost carjacked during my decades in this borough I love. Sometimes I think, What do you expect?, and sometimes I shrug and think, An anomaly.

    Anyway, carry on. New York City will repair itself from this too.

  • Heightsguy77

    Hey BJ! I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m even more sorry that our neighbors lacked so much empathy in their response to your post. Especially considering that you clearly were not playing a victim and that you “understand the tension”. I’m not sure why their response to you was so ugly. I guess we should all just “suck it up” and “bury our feelings” when we are called a derogatory name. Or maybe you deserve to be called a rude word because of the color of your skin, since you’ve lived such a privileged life…
    No. That’s not right. No one deserves the treatment that many african americans have had to endure over the years, including being called a derogatory name because of your skin color. Especially someone who was out trying to support the protests! Be well and keep up the good fight. I hope you keep protesting for equality and that the next time is a more pleasant one.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Hey Heightsguy! Do you need one of us to explain why BJ didn’t get a positive response, and all the things in his post that were problematic?

    If so, I don’t have time right this second but maybe later, I promise to do my best to do a little debriefing for you.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Claude posted about a memorial for a black man who was murdered for the color of his skin-in broad daylight-by the police. You could have chosen to talk about how the number of people assembled was impressive, or the anguish you witnessed. Bit you chose to talk about yourself. That’s called centering. And it is one of the ways that institutional racism oppresses people of color. The other thing that is offensive is describing the woman who called you a “cracker” as a “bad apple” That dismisses and minimizes her anger. Maybe she felt that you were spectating and not participating? But you’ll never know because you didnt consider it. Centering leaves ZERO room or opportunity for you to explore her motivations. You don’t get a cookie for being lighthearted and understanding about her reasons for calling you a name. It makes you sound completely tone deaf. And demonstrates you have the luxury of going on with your day. Remember you were able to turn tail and leave because the memorial made you feel “out of place.” What about Black people wanting us to stop killing them makes you feel out of place? It sounds like you swung by the memorial out of curiosity. That makes you a tourist-not a concerned citizen. I encourage you to explore why you felt uncomfortable, get used to being uncomfortable and having conversations about race & privilege. The Reverend at First Presbyterian Church recommended the essay, Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and the book “Me & White Supremacy” I encourage you to read them-maybe listen to an audio book during your next workout in Cadman Plaza.

  • Heightsguy77

    Wow! Very informative and interesting. I appreciate you patiently passing along this knowledge. I also appreciate the book reference, so we can learn more. This is the type of response that I would hope would come from our neighbors. I send this response to you, as well as anyone else on this blog (like studiobrooklyn), who are hopefully interested in civil dialogue. Because, based on his text, alone, it seems BJ didn’t know a lot of the ideas you have in your post. I know I haven’t heard of much of it.
    When I read BJ’s post, it seemed very innocent, as well as a recitation of the major events that happened to him. Getting called a “cracker” is a big enough deal to most, I think. It must hurt to some extent. Is it wrong that he said this happened to him? Was he supposed to focus on all positives, when a major negative happened to him? I don’t really think that’s fair to expect of him. Why shouldn’t he say that this happened to him?
    And I understand that calling someone a “bad apple” does dismiss and minimize their anger. But does any one person want to feel the full anger of an oppressed person against an entire society? It seems natural to attempt to deflect that anger.
    You ask: “What about Black people wanting us to stop killing them makes you feel out of place?” I have to say, if someone called me a cracker at an event, it would want to make me leave, as well. Why is it that we assume that he felt out of place for your assumed reasons?
    I appreciate responses and any more knowledge you all have to give. I hope BJ does, as well. I believe it is important that we can all discuss these issues and our responses to them. Thank you.

  • gc

    BJ’s final paragraph referencing his circuit workout while working from home seemed out of place and totally insensitive to the fact that a disproportinate number of white people get to take advantage of “working from home”. This is what prompted my response.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    HeightsGuy, I think Songbird has written an excellent response here. I don’t have much to add.

    There’s a lot of really great material out there to help white folks educate themselves about privilege and systemic racism, and the ways our social and economic models exploit these in order to exacerbate and prolong historical imbalances and injustices. However, I’m ambivalent about recommending book titles because having the time and concentration to sit and read in order to simply better oneself is, itself, a privilege not enjoyed by everyone (and I do mean everyone!).

    So I would recommend that if you’re willing to open your heart and mind to what people are saying and doing right now—and I would say this to BJ as well—start by opening your ears and listening when black people tell you they are suffering. Believe them.

    And be prepared to feel uncomfortable; it’s the first and most painful step on the way to helping to make society better for everyone. BJ missed out on what could have been a wonderful learning opportunity for him because he decided to run away from discomfort.

  • SongBirdNYC

    Thanks StudioBklyn. I hear that but the point of this work is for us to do it when and how we can. Everyone will have a different journey. If sharing resources makes it that much easier for people to take the leap then I’m happy to do it. Black Lives Matter’s site is an excellent resources. NY Magazine has a list of 12 Anti-Racist books. The ones recommended to me from various sources including Race & Equity trainings, include White Fragility, Waking Up White and, So You Want to Talk About Race, and Why Do All the Black Kids Sit Together in the Cafeteria. Here’s a huge list of compiled resources from a parents group.

  • BH Mike

    What a bunch of malarkey that is.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Those are all great titles, and I was fortunate to have been exposed to many of them during my professional training as a teacher. I certainly didn’t mean that I’m ambivalent about anyone recommending books, I just try to be sensitive to the fact that proclivity for reading varies from person to person, and so I treat the ideas themselves with more urgency than the texts.

  • LeperMessiah

    I’m sorry it happened to you. I have not had such an experience here, but hopefully it was out of levity and not animus.

    You should try Brooklyn Bridge Park for working out. The sea breeze and views are great inspirations.

  • Heightsguy77

    Hey studioB and songbird, thank you for this. This is a time of change. I hope everyone remembers that much of this is new for many. And that if you are knowledgable, please remember to be empathetic to those who aren’t as knowledgeable. Be well.