Host intro: It’s been over two months since the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests erupted across all 50 states. Although media reports have dwindled, organized demonstrations for racial justice continue to persist. Lily Sexton spoke to one of the organizers of a New York Protest to get to know more about the movement.
Fade in: Black Lives Matter Chant from protest
Lily: I’m here with Ian Ward at the Pulaski Bridge in Brooklyn as he prepares for another protest as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement to fight for racial justice. Today marks the 66th day of protests and still hundreds of people have come to show their support for the movement.
Ian: I really believe the current Black Lives Matter protests are going to be a permanent mark on this country. As you can see, just because the media is done reporting we are not done fighting for racial justice. The people are mad. People are waking up and recognizing their privilege and other people are – for the first time – having their voices heard.
Track: CJ Marine, another protester, also voiced their concerns about what they say is an inaccurate portrayal of the protests by the media.
CJ: On both left and right wing networks they’ve only shown the violent parts of the protest and they only focus on the property being seized, when in reality were fighting for radical change within the system.
Track: And protester Huge Escobar chimed in as well.
Hugo: People are so quick to report a storefront but when it comes to a human life, they don’t care.
CJ: Because they want more eyeballs on the screen and violence attracts eyeballs.
Track: While media attention would be helpful, it doesn’t hinder these activists efforts to continue to demand change through protests.
Ian: People are still watching. Everyone is watching. This week the case for Elijah McClain was reopened, who was murdered at the hands of police almost a year ago for getting an iced tea for his brother. And what about Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Mya Hall, Walter Scott, Sandra Bland. The list goes on and on – and so will this movement.
Fade in: Power to the People Chant
Track: As they say, they aren’t letting up the protests anytime soon. Just this weekend, there are more protests scheduled for Tiffany Harris at Saint James Park, Anti-Racism March at Brooklyn Borough Hall and a ceremony for Eric Gardner at McCarren Park. For Baruch College, this is Lily Sexton in Brooklyn.
For my radio pitch I want to focus on the Black Lives Matter peaceful protests that are still going on despite not getting as much recognition in the news.
This Friday there’s a protest for change in Brooklyn at the Pulaski Bridge, which is just one of the many coast to coast protests addressing police criminality and racist police policies happening this week. It’s expected to be a 2+ hour march as they walk over the bridge to Queens and then to the Bronx and ending in Harlem for important speeches.
One of the people that are going to speak is Ian Ward, a college student that helped organize the event. I reached out to him and he agreed to speak with me after the event as well as record his speech. He already expressed to me his anger with the lack of news coverage once the protests became peaceful which makes it hard for the general public to recognize that they are still going strong, and so his speech and my story will likely revolve around that.
New York, New normal
For my photojournalism assignment, I want to explore the changing circumstances in New York. What used to be the city that never sleeps has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 and retreated indoors for everyone’s safety. Now as it’s waking back up, New Yorkers are navigating a new normal.
People are slowly reentering the outdoors but not without a mask. The subways have resumed regular service but still feel hollow. Department stores are open but someone will point a temperature gun at your head. We resist the idea of a brisk walk through the park if other people have the same idea.
I work in the city near Columbus Circle and was used to the packed train cars and the crowd of people sharing my sidewalk before the sun finished rising. Now when I have to pick up a morning shift I have the train cart to myself, and walk quickly to my job so I don’t have to acknowledge the echoing avenues.
I want to specifically focus my assignment on the emptiness of mornings in New York. Few people have to make a morning commute, so when New York would normally be thriving by 8am it’s still empty.
New York is slowly recharging but isn’t where it used to be. New York is embracing the New Normal.