Hingham Residents Show Their Support For The Black Lives Matter Movement


Mary Kelly Prosky Gilbert

The pictures of victims were displayed on poster board and held up by various protesters.

On June 6th, protesters gathered on the Hingham Bathing Beach field to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It was one of many protests that have occurred on the south shore over the past week, including some in Hull, Weymouth, and Scituate.

Protesters stood on the side of  Route 3A holding signs saying “Black Lives Matter” and “White Silence is Violence,” hoping to unify the south shore with anti-racist beliefs. They called for reform of policing system and justice for the many black victims of police brutality in the nation. In powerful chants, protesters declared, “Without justice, there’s no peace.” The protest would not have been possible without Hingham Senior Olivia Monarch and Scituate Senior Darcy Milligan who organized the event. 

At 12:00, protesters began to line the sidewalk parallel to route 3A, bringing handmade signs with powerful messages that called for unity and justice. Norwell resident and anti-racist activist Raquel Soto proved to be very vocal about her beliefs, standing in front of the crowd and leading the majority of the chants with a megaphone.

When questioned on why it was important people speak up for the Black Lives Matter cause, Soto responded with, “This cause is important because everybody is benefiting off of people of color’s demise and oppression.” When asked how can people help to the movement, the response was simply, “Donate, sign petitions, and go to protests. If you don’t have the money to donate, there are videos on YouTube with ads in them. If you watch the adds, the money generated goes to the movement.” Soto also added that it was important to, “Speak your mind and talk to your family and friends.” 

At 2:00, protesters gathered around Hingham’s gazebo to listen to speeches from Gabriella Bonitto, Katie Milligan, Ryan Frankel, and Kristin Mccarthy. McCarthy, an upcoming senior at Norwell High School, was the first to speak. She read a list of names of 101 people of color killed by police violence in the past six years, asking listeners to put their hands down when they heard a name they did not know. No one’s hand was left raised by the end of the speech, leaving an impactful reminder just how many people have suffered from police brutality.

The shocking thing, McCarthy stated, was that those 101 names were “Only a fraction of the black citizens murdered by police officers in the last six years- Over six thousand, if you’re curious, most unreported by the media.” On why Black Lives Matter is important, McCarthy stated, “I think it’s important because we can’t just pretend it’s not there. If the police kill 1,000 people a year, and those people are predominantly black, it’s long overdue for this to end. It’s our civil right to protest.”

Next, Katie Milligan, sister of Darcy Milligan, talked about the problems of racism facing our nation and the south shore. She stated, “Scituate does have a racism problem. So does every town on the south shore because, like everywhere in the US, we are all part of a culture that oppresses black people and black bodies.” She continued by saying, “Videos of black people dying to over-saturate our screens. Black people have been protesting systemic racism for so long that it’s become normal to see protests on the news, and we just wait for them to ‘get it out of their system’ so that we shrug it off and move on. All lives simply cannot matter until black lives do matter!”

Lastly, Ryan Frankel of Scituate, Massachusetts, concluded his speech by declaring, “It’s up to us, the youth, the young people in this country to bring change and fix what’s broken. We can’t keep putting band aids on a festering wound and walk around like it’s okay. It is finally time to stitch it up and let that scar help us heal.” He called for our nation to fully recognize the horrors of our past in hopes of learning from them.

In the final moments of the demonstration,  protesters took a knee in solidarity for George Floyd and all the victims of police brutality in our nation. 

When talking to protesters, Hazel Orth, an 8th grader at Hingham Middle School stated, “Our country has been living in systemic racism for so long, for way too long, and it’s time that we realize our mistakes and stop it.” 

Another Hingham 8th grader, Hadley Dunkin, declared, “We are in the same place we were in 50 years ago. To be honest, nothing has changed. It’s a matter of ‘if not now, then when?’ We have to be heard.” 

Finally, Lilja Martel, a 9th grader at Hingham High School responded to the protests by stating, “The cops that claim to stand for the civilians of our town won’t kneel with us. That itself shows how corrupt the system is.”

The prostest left a strong reminder of just how strong the activist of the upcoming generation is, utilizing their 1st amendment right to protest in order to enact meaningful change in our society.