On June 12, 2020, a large group of protesters marched peacefully to say “Black Lives Matter,” through the streets of Hamburg, PA, a small industrial town of 4,300. Around 225 marched. Police estimated 300 to 500. Quite a few townspeople watched from the sidewalks and waved support, including elderly people, some walking with canes. Others showed support from their porches. When marchers passed a bikers’ watering hole, customers stood resp.ectfully as the march passed by. A tiny group of vocal counter-protesters, several with automatic weapons, gathered at a veterans memorial obviously trying to provoke an incident and intimidate marchers. One yelled racist epithets at a couple of small children who were walking with their mother. Marchers handled the provocations peacefully and with great discipline.
This march is emblematic of what is happening in small towns all across the United States in response to the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis following quickly on the heels of the killing of Ahmed Aubrey by racist vigilantes in Georgia and the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, by cops who stormed unannounced into her home.