A crowd estimated between 125 to 150 people gathered in Escalon’s Main Street Park on Saturday morning, June 6, joining in a rally and march. The event grew out of response to the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month and is one of several similar rallies going on across the country.
Coordinator Trinity Suriano, a 2016 Escalon High School graduate, brought in some guest speakers and worked with city officials to map out a march route. The protest was peaceful, those attending hoisting signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and calling for an end to racism.
Keynote speaker Eugene Kelly, a 20-plus year resident of Escalon, shared stories of how he encountered racism during his lifetime and urged all to work together to find the solutions.
“Everybody deserves respect,” Kelly told the crowd. “Change is only going to happen if you guys are willing to make the change.”
Suriano said she didn’t know what to expect when she started planning for the event, uncertain whether anyone would show up. She said she couldn’t have been happier for the turnout or the fact that the rally was a peaceful demonstration.
“We are not here to stir things up,” she noted as she welcomed the crowd shortly after 10 am. Saturday, adding that a goal was to keep it “peaceful and to keep everyone safe.”
Mayor Robert Swift and Police Chief Mike Borges were also on hand and among those offering a few words.
The marchers stayed on the sidewalks all along the route and did not impede the flow of traffic. A portion of Main Street by the park was shut down for a brief time for the event, which was scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. It wrapped up around 11:30 a.m.
Look for additional photos and the full story in the June 10 issue of The Times.