Narrowsburg follows up days of demonstrations

'One step of your allyship’

By ELIZABETH LEPRO
Posted 6/9/20

NARROWSBURG, NY — A sudden bout of rain made the eight minutes and 46 seconds demonstrators spent kneeling on the gravely Narrowsburg Bridge all the more poignant Saturday afternoon, June …

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Narrowsburg follows up days of demonstrations

'One step of your allyship’

Posted

NARROWSBURG, NY — A sudden bout of rain made the eight minutes and 46 seconds demonstrators spent kneeling on the gravely Narrowsburg Bridge all the more poignant Saturday afternoon, June 6.

The bridge has been home to an anti-police brutality demonstration almost every day since June 1, with the Narrowsburg Nonviolent Protest taking place daily at 5 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. The recent Saturday action, organized by lifelong activist Beverly Sterner, brought about 75 people out. Those who gathered Saturday spoke about allyship.

“Obviously these are small towns; they’re rather conservative places,” said Greeley, PA resident Lauren Castro. “I think it’s almost more important to show up here… as much as we can, we need to be allies and we need to be visible so that people do feel safe.” 

Janet Burgan, who lives in Milanville, PA, started the weekday demonstrations because she felt the “need to do something.

“I didn’t know what, and I felt that anything I would do would just be a puny drop in the bucket,” she said. “What can a privileged White woman do about racial inequality?” After talking with some of her activist friends, Burgan decided to go to the bridge and hold a sign. She invited others to join her via social media and was surprised Monday when 54 other people showed up. The next day, 160 people showed up. The action has been continuing since.

Castro, who also attended the Thursday demonstration in Honesdale, said she’s seen mostly positive support on both sides of the river. As cars passed by on the bridge Saturday, many honked and waved in response to the group’s signs. 

“So how many here consider themselves an ally?” asked Narrowsburg resident Naomi Jones, over the microphone. As many people raised their hands, Jones continued. “This is just one step of your allyship… It extends to your dinner table where you have to have these tough conversations about race with all ages. Nobody’s too young to start learning about racism. It’s never not the time to talk about it.”

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