In almost every municipality in Mercer County, groups hosted marches or rallies over the weekend to protest racism and police brutality.
On Saturday and Sunday, at least 130 protests were held across the state, according to the head of the New Jersey State Police. The two largest protests in Mercer County were in Lawrence, where a few thousand people marched, and Trenton, where several hundred people gathered in front of city hall. Two smaller rallies were held in Princeton, and several other events were hosted across the Central Jersey region. On Monday night, the protests continued as people gathered at a park in Ewing. Events are also being planned for the upcoming weekend. (Email your event listings to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Almost every event was organized by young adults or high school students, who spoke out not only about racism and police brutality but also about being mistreated at their schools. One freshman at Princeton High School became emotional as he told the crowd in Lawrence how peers, teachers, and authority figures treat him with suspicion because he is black. The anguish in his voice brought many in the crowd to tears. The lack of equity in schools was a common theme over the weekend. One black mother who organized a rally in front of the police department in Princeton on Sunday said one of the reasons she moved out of Princeton was because her son was being bullied at the middle school. Mothers at the Princeton event said they worry every day that their sons and daughters could be killed because of the color of their skin like George Floyd.
All of the protests were peaceful in Mercer County just a few days after four towns lifted curfews in response to looting in Trenton the previous weekend. The looting took place about three hours after a peaceful rally had ended.