Protests Come to Rochester

While big cities are the usual ground for protests, Rochester and Rochester Hills have a handful of protests popping up. In light of recent events surrounding the death of George Floyd, area students have organized – and continue to organize – local peaceful protests. Unlike some of the big city protests that have turned into riots, prompting states to use the National Guard and for curfews to be put into place, the local walks have remained peaceful.

Hundreds of people gather in a school parking lot

Rochester High School Protest

Hundreds of people gather in a school parking lot

Rochester High School Protest Begins

On Thursday, June 4, two separately organized protests took place in Downtown Rochester. One protest met and formed at the Rochester Municipal Park and the other met and formed at Rochester High School in Rochester Hills. The Rochester Hills march was organized by Zena (age 17) and Mena (age 15) Nasiri, from the nonprofit Girls of the Crescent. Both are students in the Rochester Community School District. With help from other students, including Grace Snook, Maddie Lawson, and Sara Pacella, they contacted area leadership. “For getting the word out I started off with calling the mayors’ office and Councilman Ryan Deel to make sure they were aware of the march along with emailing the high school administrators and then we took it to social media,” said Zena Nasiri. “We mainly promoted on Instagram, but we also made a Facebook event page and they both seemed to be very effective and getting the word out about the march.”

A group of people in the park

Rochester Municipal Park Protest Gathers

A group of people in the park

Rochester Municipal Park Protest Gathers

Two hundred or so people meet in the park

Rochester Municipal Park Protesters Gather at the Band Shell

The two groups started independent walks at 4:00 p.m. and met in along University Drive heading East in Downtown Rochester. They combined to form one march, which went South on Main Street (Rochester Road), turned West on Fourth Street, then North on Walnut Blvd., back to University, and returned to their respective starting points.

Hundreds of people combine on a street

The two groups combine into one march in Downtown Rochester

people walk a street lead by police motorcycles

Protest Walkers on Main Street in Downtown Rochester

people walk a street lead by police motorcycles

Protest Walkers on Main Street in Downtown Rochester

Both Groups were mostly young, student-aged women, a few adults and young men, and local leaders. Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett and Rochester Community School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaner joined the walk from Rochester High School.

people walk a street

Protest Walkers in Downtown Rochester

people walk a street

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett walks with the protesters in Downtown Rochester

Each group roughly had about 500 participants, forming the larger group of 1,000 or more for the short time the walk was along Main Street.

people walk a street

Protest Walkers in Downtown Rochester

Another protest is scheduled to take place on Saturday, at 10:00 a.m., meeting at the Rochester Hills Public Library. The walk on June 6 is organized by a different group of people to support Black Lives Awareness, however they are not associated with the official Black Lives Matter organization.

About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at michael@rochestermedia.com.

Comments

  1. Ahearn, James F says:

    Well Done Michael!

Speak Your Mind

*