Protesters began gathering at two locations — the Liberty Pole on East Main Street around noon and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park around 1 p.m. — before converging at Parcel 5 and later marching east along East Avenue.
Soon after, the chants of "Black lives matter!" and "No justice, no peace, fuck these racist ass police!" punctuated the silence and echoed through the streets.
- PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
- An 8 minute 46 second long moment of silence for George Floyd.
"Furthermore," the statement read in part, "media outlets who are posting names of people arrested and images of them are acting as an extension of the Police department. They should not be trusted and are actively participating in the violence against Black people."
The demonstration came on the heels of a much smaller rally outside the Monroe County Office Building on Friday that lasted a few hours, and coincided with protests around the country and the globe.
At Park and Oxford, protesters sat in the street while organizers spoke. Roughly 20 minutes later they'd advanced to Park and Berkeley, sat in the street, and held a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Diners seated at tables outside were mostly still and silent, diverting their attention from their food and drinks.
Rochester police cruisers followed behind the last of the marchers. Officers kept their distance from the marchers throughout the day.
Earlier in the day at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, one of the staging areas, organizers took to the microphone with a list of demands that included pulling funding from police, dropping charges against the people arrested at the previous weekend's rally, and urging elected officials who have accepted political donations from police organizations to donate it to other causes.
"If we could defund the police, we could pay everybody's rent," organizer Adrian Elim said.
As the crowd neared its starting point at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, protesters surrounded a few New York State Police cars that were parked on the nearby I-490 on-ramp. The troopers reversed the cars and moved far back, while Elim directed the crowd not to engage with the police. They urged the protesters to be deliberate and critical in their actions.
"This is chess, not checkers," Elim said.
There were other rallies and demonstrations around the region as well, including in Brighton at Buckland Park.