Black Lives Matter: NA protest


Emily Irizarry, Senior Staff Writer

“I can’t breathe!” “I can’t breathe!” The phrase kept repeating and echoing on Ridge Road on Wednesday, June 3 as a group of a hundred or so students from the high school, and local people came to protest the injustices that have been occurring with African Americans in this country in what is known as the Black Lives Matter movement. This movement has been made around the states to ensure that what happened to George Floyd, a victim of police brutality, never happens again. Many people have taken into account donating, signing petitions, and protesting, just like the people did in North Arlington. 

Alyssa Tattoli, an NAHS alumni, posted on the morning of June 3rd to ask people to be alongside her to take part in the protest from the Autozone in town all the way toward the Belleville Turnpike, meaning people would walk the NA portion of Ridge Road. Word started spreading in social media. People started taking screenshots on snapchat and posting it. As it continued to spread, the people were anxiously waiting for 7:30 p.m., the start time that was in the post, to meet up at Autozone. Once the time arrived, many people gathered at Autozone, along with police officers who made sure we were safe when protesting on the sidewalk. 

A group of people took it upon themselves to shout some of the chants, and the crowd repeated them. When we walked, many people honked their horns from their cars and lifted a fist out of their windows, which is one of the symbols of the protest. When we reached the police station and court/ town hall, we took a knee and held a moment of silence for 8 minutes in honor of George Floyd. North Arlington’s mayor, Dan Pronti, joined and said a few words saying how we were making a good example of peaceful protest and how he was proud of seeing many high school students making a change. 

Afterwards, some people dismissed but many others continued to walk all the way until the Belleville Turnpike. Then, we walked back, and as we walked back, people from their windows either supported us or made rude comments to bring us down, but we still shouted the chants and marched. It was around eight o’clock when we stopped once again at the Town Hall and were properly dismissed and encouraged to continue walking back to Autozone and protest, and keep donating and signing petitions for this movement. Quickly, a thunderstorm erupted but people continued to march. On this day, the people of North Arlington roared in solidarity for justice.