A group of Milford residents made their voices heard Monday afternoon and joined with the millions of people across the country protesting over the death of George Floyd.
Standing on corners at the intersection of Main Street and Route 1, the group held up signs stating “No Justice, No Peace,” “Black Lives Matter,” “A Riot is the Language of the Unheard” and “There is no right way to protest because that’s what protest is. #WeMustDoBetter” as cars passed by.
Lilly Habing, one of the protesters, said they were out Monday to join with the nation-wide protests over the death of George Floyd.
Habing said many people are focusing on the riots that have occurred during many of the protests and that they have said that this isn’t the right way to protest.
Habing pointed out that people said the same thing about former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick when he chose to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem to protest police brutality.
“There really is no right way to protest because there’s always going to be people against you,” she said.
Habing said they wanted to seek justice for what happened to George Floyd and raise awareness about police brutality in general, stating that police brutality affects everyone but especially minorities.
Habing feels that too much focus is being placed on the rioting and believes that people should be asking why the protests are happening.
“I think the bigger question should be why are these happening?” she said. “What pushed people to think that they need their voices heard?”
Habing said bringing awareness of these issues to a small town like Milford is important because she feels the issues often get ignored in small towns because people feel like they aren’t directly affected by it.
“It’s important to bring awareness and make people aware of the injustices and know that, even if you are in a small town, you still have a voice to make an impact,” she said.
Kendall McCalla, another protester, said small towns such as Milford often don’t see protests like this since the protests are usually organized in larger cities.
She said that was one of the things that inspired them to come out and protest in Milford on Monday.
“There’s not much seen on the small town level,” she said. “So we figured this was something that we could do to help impact minds and effect change around here.”
Hannah Kummerfeldt, another protester, said there are many college-age and high school students who are home right now and feel like they can’t go to the big cities to protest so that helped inspire them to protest in Milford Monday as well.
“So we’re actually able to do something right here in our hometown,” she said.
Habing, McCalla and Kummerfeldt are all college students, though they were joined by at least one local high school student Monday.
Habing participated in the Women’s March in Chicago a few years ago, but for McCalla and Kummerfeldt, this was their first protest.
Asked how drivers and people passing by had reacted to their protest, the group said they had received a mixed response.
McCalla said one driver had flipped them off, but most of the negative reactions were people just shaking their heads. Even so, there were some people who showed their support as well.
“There were a lot of people shaking their head ‘no,’ but there were some people shaking their head ‘yes’ and putting their fists in the air. We’ve gotten a few of those,” she said.
Habing said Monday’s demonstration probably wouldn’t be the last time they were out protesting.
She said they were going to try and do it a few more times.