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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