At first protestors marched on foot, then came the bike protests, and on Friday afternoon, skateboarders converged in Williamsburg in solidarity with the slew of Black Lives Matter protests across the city that have continued unabated since the end of May.
“This is a great way to be part of the movement and get the skateboarding family together,” said Jennifer Charlene, one of the event’s organizers who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Friday’s event began in Continental Army Plaza at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, and demonstrators then rolled their way through North Brooklyn—many on skateboards, some on bikes and a few on rollerblades and scooters.
Gliding over asphalt underneath the sweltering afternoon sun, protestors then gathered underneath the shade of trees in McCarren Park. Some stayed to participate in the nightly vigil that has continued rain or shine in the park for the past two weeks.
Gathering so many skaters in one place wasn’t easy: “It took a lot of heads to do it,” explained Veronique Charlaca, one of the central organizers who lives in Bushwick in reference to corralling a diffuse community of skateboarders.
The demonstration followed similar rallies on wheels in San Francisco and Philadelphia earlier in the week, and also came on the heels of a number of protests by bike that have recently weaved their way through Brooklyn’s streets.
“Skateboarding is itself a rebellion against authoritarianism,” said Stephen Hsueh, also a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who recently lost his job because of the pandemic. “Skateboarding is already a protest.”
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Yes, skateboarding is an expession of the rebellion – a cry of freedom that each subsequent & merging generation wants to express in their own way , before the various shackles & burdens of adulthood start snapping into place, and weighing is down.
I only wish that the ofen maskless patron outside out locak and partially re-opened bars and restaurants would skate back homes – instead of congregating in crowds outside these establishments, and using surrounding neighborhoods as their outdoor restaurant and trash bin, leaving not only a mess on our local streets, but piles of food scraos for vermin. They irresponsibily act as if the virus is over. But the virus never left. It was only the lock down, social distancing, masks, and handwashing that kept it at bay, and that kept ir from running rampant. We’re all social animals who seek the company of others. But please continue to act socially responsible as well –even though society itself does not always act responsibly towards each & every one of us.
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