On Saturday, June 9th, the residents of Jersey City marched in unity from the corner of Mcadoo and Martin Luther King Drive all the way to Lincoln Park. Once I arrived at 10:30 am I first spotted the soft-hearted, Pamela Johnson of the Anti- Violence Coalition. She greets and calls me and my little sister, Jennah, the same title she gives to the youth in Jersey City “young kings and queens”. She lets us know where to sign in, get our unity T-Shirts, and make posters.
Once we received our shirts, a friendly laundry matt allowed me and Jennah to use the bathroom to change our shirts. As we waited to start marching, we walked around caught up with some old friends. Then we made some new friends and asked to take pictures of them and they took pictures of us.
A prayer was said and we proceeded and started marching, My poster spoke for the whole walk: “this is what democracy looks like”. A group of people, peacefully protesting for the violence in their community to end. I of course always enjoy how diverse the group is.
I love attending marches in the community. I regularly attend monthly rallies by Students Demand Actions Hudson County. Attending any and all of these events is not only exercising your first amendments rights but you’re making sure you’re planning a roll in demanding a change in the area you live in.
With one fire truck, multiple police officers, a group of men on motorcycles, and a truck of 4 Jamaican men singing and playing to the heart and rhythm of Jersey City: we started heading to Lincoln Park. One person with a Microphone chanted “Whose streets?” we, the people, chanted back “Our streets!” or the person shouted “what do we want?” we’d reply “Guns off the streets!”
I’ve lived in Greenville, Jersey City all my life and to give you the truth, I don’t know how to take the light rail. My parents believed the neighborhood was too dangerous to let me take public transit. So here I am 17 years old, frustrated at the fact that I have to google which train to take just to get to Newport. Marching and shouting what I feel is the least I could do.
As we’re marching and chanting, we made a few pauses to make sure the path before us was cleared or to have a moment for Snyder’s drill team to drum a sick beat and continue with us.
Once we got near the MLK light rail, everyone completely stopped and we were asked to turn around. There was a crowd starting to form so as the 4 foot and 8 inches little person I am, I rushed to be in the front. An amazing dance performance broke out.
What I love most about this unity walk are the streets we walked on. It was specifically a walk against violence in the community. Therefore, we walked through some of the most unsafe neighborhoods in the city and I couldn’t have loved it more. We caused so much noise that residents, workers, and even kids playing on the streets stopped and watched what we were doing, that felt awesome.
After such a long walk, we arrived at Lincoln Park where there was, food, more than enough water bottles, and live music for everyone that participated. There were different vendors there as well and along with a bunch of places for people to sit.
These marches never disappoint me and are always well organized. It’s also a nice way for me and my little sister to spend time on a Saturday. The Unity Walk is an annual walk organized by the Anti-Violence Correlation. I can’t wait for next year!
Keep updated with all of the events on the Anti- Violence Correlations Facebook: