‘Black Lives Matter!’ chants echo throughout Hoboken as thousands join George Floyd protest


Thousands of people converged on Hoboken this afternoon for one of the largest rallies Hudson County has seen in years to protest the death of George Floyd, systemic racism, police brutality, and more.

“We need to be collectively holding our government officials responsible and to create policies that hold police officers accountable for their actions,” began Keani Esparra, a member of Allies 4 Justice, the group that organized the rally.

“Hoboken: today we march and we disturb the peace for all the black people we’ve lost due to police brutality and racial injustice. These are your neighbors, they are your friends, they are your co-workers. When you march with us today, we need you, our allies, to incite change: we can’t do it alone.”

Black Men United Jersey City Founder Nevin Perkins also addressed the crowd, which quickly grew to over a thousand people, at Maxwell Place Park, urging them to take a knee – asking officers to participate only if they truly believed in the cause.

“We note interested in symbolic victories. If you’re taking a knee, take a knee in solidarity. if you’re taking a knee to conform: stay the f*** up,” he stated.

Perkins was one of the organizers of Monday’s peaceful protest in Greenville.

The group waited at Maxwell Park Place for about 30 minutes, welcoming other marching in from Hoboken Housing Authority buildings before heading down Sinatra Drive to Pier A Park.

Officials and organizers estimated that the rally may have had as many as 10,000 participants at it’s peak.

Chants such as “George Floyd,” “Black Lives Matter!,” and “Hand up! Don’t Shoot!” were consistent throughout the 20-minute or so trip to Pier A, where at least half of the crowd veered off to protest at the police station and then City Hall.

While there were a couple tense moments between a small numbers of protesters and some New Jersey State Police troopers standing behind a barricade in front of the Hoboken Police Station, there were no violent outbursts and therefore no arrests made.

Throughout the rally, officers here and there could be seen taking a knee with those protesting.

At Pier A Park, the group acknowledged many others who were killed by police, including Breonna Taylor: who was killed by officers in Louisville after they got into a shootout with her boyfriend.

Today would have been her 27th birthday, prompting a quick rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Numerous speakers entered the circle to address the crowd, including Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Larry Hamm – a challenger to incumbent Cory Booker.

“Now is the time that we must confront all systems and all structures that has been holding in place racism. Racism, and oppression, and white supremacy, and I ask you to be here today not only for George Floyd, but be here today as part of a movement to build a new society in the United States!,” he said to loud applause.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla also led chants of “Black Lives Matter!,” “George Floyd!,” and “No Justice! No Peace!” before taking a knee with the crowd.

According to Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante, the three-plus hour event led to just one arrest: a simple assault incident where one protester punched the other in the face.

While the march made its way onto Washington Street at times, where some businesses had boarded up their storefronts earlier this week, no property was destroyed or even damaged.

The march from Maxwell Place Park to Pier A Park streamed live on our Facebook page and can be viewed below:

News correspondent Corey McDonald contributed to this report.

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  1. “We so woke! We so woke!” Karl Marx is loving this. You think any of these kids know they’re marching on behalf of a dead white guy and his failed ideology? That’s what BLM was built on. Well that, and on the graves of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Both of whom required a little massaging to the obituary. Hands up, don’t shoot! I’m just trying to borrow the gun from a cop. This, as the family of David Dorn mourn and are ignored.

  2. Whatever you do don’t criticize Ravi even if people start dropping dead like flies around here because of the coronavirus. Or we’ll call you a racist. You’ve been warned.

  3. I’m worried about my grandmother in Columbian Arms. People have died there and the mayor’s office tried to cover it up. Ravi Bhalla invited this protest into Hoboken and it isn’t bringing that poor man George Floyd back. Everyone’s worried.

  4. Never bow or kneel to the globalist cabal using the black community as their paid leftist allies burn it down. Not now and not in November. George Floyd RIP.

  5. Figures it would take a time like this for “Former Councilman and HHA Chair David Mello ” to start chiming in about who he wants on the HHA – No time like now than to point out anti Black and Anti Latino opinions and beliefs.
    Mello and Grossbard were named in a large lawsuit by an Hispanic HHA employee, the employee settled, now Mello is at it again with his disdain, attacking the mother of Director Garcia’s son who was just appointed a fellow commissioner, a LATINO FEMALE with experience running affordable housing. Sounds like a great choice to most! Maybe what Mello and his White Voices Matter More group want is to tear down the HHA so Mello can get more money for his condo that overlooks the projects. Zimmer couldn’t stand him, now we all see why