BINGHAMTON, NY -There were two separate marches that took place in Binghamton yesterday protesting the death of George Floyd.
As NewsChannel 34’s James Atherlay shows us, organizers’ hope that the events would remain peaceful were realized.
Binghamton saw two large protests yesterday, neither of which were violent or required a reaction from police.
Local officials lauded the marches as a way to allow Binghamton’s citizens to express their anger over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Many see it as a last straw after a string of deaths of people of color at the hands of police nationally.
Black Lives Matter Protester Allyson Stringfield says it’s hard to fathom how she would react if something like that happened to her or her kids.
“I can’t say if someone kneeled on my son’s chest that I wouldn’t be setting things on fire. I can’t say that I wouldn’t. Thankfully, that has not happened to me,” says Stringfield.
The first march went down toward Court Street starting at about 12:15.
That march then dissolved for the day and joined up with another march which started outside Binghamton High School.
One woman says she has children and is afraid to let them out, even during the day.
“Every time they go out, I am scared for their lives. That should not be. When people say ‘all life matters’, that cannot happen, all life cannot matter until black lives matter,” says local business owner and activist Rashuna Durham.
Local business owner and Activist Rashuna Durham is a wife and mother of four children, all of whom are black.
She says a lack of action is as much to blame as the actions of rogue police officers.
“When we protest peacefully, they tell us not to do that. When they are rioting, they tell us not to do that. Something needs to happen. I’m not saying which way it should happen, but something needs to happen,” says Durham.
Much like Durham, Stringfield says she is tired of having her community’s cries go unheard.
Still, she encouraged everyone to march, mourn, and even cry, but to still be as peaceful as possible.
“Taking a knee at a football game is so frowned upon. Everything we do is so frowned upon, so people are just doing what they feel is right for them, and this is what I feel is right for me.”
The first march wrapped up outside Government Plaza on Hawley street, where many attendees left to join the 2nd march.
Throughout the afternoon, police presence was minimal and there weren’t any notable confrontations between protestors and law enforcement.