Black Lives Matter supporters march on boardwalk

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The group marched the boards chanting names of individuals killed by police. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A group of about 20 Black Lives Matter protesters marched peacefully along the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk on Aug. 27, chanting the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by police throughout America. 

The demonstrators, both young and old, came to support the movement just days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Rachel Kiefer-Casella, a resident of Point Pleasant Beach, said she felt a need to come out and support after the recent shooting of Jacob Blake.

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“I just feel that being white, it’s my responsibility to speak out when I see injustice and racism,” said Ms. Kiefer-Casella. “I think that everybody should be treated equally and have the same opportunities regardless of the color of your skin, who you love or what religion you worship.”

She said she is not anti-police but does think individuals should be held accountable for their actions. 

“We’re seeing things over and over again and I just feel it’s my responsibility to speak out and stand up where I can,” she said. 

Although there was not a huge turnout, said Ms. Kiefer-Casella, she was glad to have seen people joining in as they marched the boards. 

“Anytime that you can reach somebody and have an intelligent conversation it’s always a good thing,” she said.

The protest was promoted in a flyer circulated online, stating protesters were out in response to an arrest made by Point Pleasant Beach Police on July 12 when officers tackled a Black man who police said resisted arrest after violating an ordinance prohibiting the carrying of an open alcoholic beverage container on the boardwalk.

No one at the demonstration claimed credit for organizing it, but one participant, Rob Moreau, said he thought it had gone well. 

“The Black Lives Matter movement … is such a non-violent thing,” said Mr. Moreau. “It just makes so much sense that in the hopes that Black lives will finally be equal as everybody else.”

He said he has a 14-year-old daughter who is Black who is often afraid of police considering all that has been going on in America.

“Most people were just so supportive,” said Mr. Moreau. “There is no downside to supporting black lives.”

A few counter-protesters on the boardwalk verbally confronted the Black Lives Matter protesters but were moved away from them by police.

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