‘Different energy this time’: Protests in Massachusetts giving people hope that change is possible

STOUGHTON, MASS. (WHDH) - At a peaceful rally in Stoughton on Wednesday, demonstrators took a knee for nearly nine minutes in tribute to George Floyd.

The peaceful protest that drew a couple hundred people was one of many held in Massachusetts as residents demand change across the nation, saying inequality is as real here as it is anywhere else in America.

“We as residents, we needed some type of vehicle, some type of event, so we can mourn publicly,” organizer Debra Roberts said.

Stoughton Police Chief Donna McNamara was among the speakers at the protest. She said she is taking the opportunity to listen and learn.

“We have to look at our policies and procedures,” McNamara said, “and we also have to look at ourselves and have empathy and compassion.”

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Hundreds of people also came together in Fitchburg on Wednesday, marching through the streets and taking a knee outside of City Hall.

Demonstrators showed their support for Floyd in Framingham by holding a die-in.

The protests around Massachusetts and the county have given people hope that real change is possible.

“It’s gonna take a whole village and then another village but it’ll get done,” demonstrator Kara Arico said.

Protester Chris Phelimond added, “There’s a different energy around this time. I don’t know, I feel like this time something can actually happen.”

Officers monitored the demonstrations, which remained peaceful overall.

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