Hundreds of protestors gathered peacefully in Utica Sunday afternoon to demand change following the death of George Floyd.

  • Several hundred gathered to peacefully protest Sunday afternoon.
  • They marched from Kemble Park to Oneida Square.
  • Organizers and protestors are demanding chance following the death of George Floyd.

"Change is to not be silent about the injustice. The first step to change is acknowledging that there is a problem. That this system is broken. We have to acknowledge it and then we have to take action,” said Yadana Oo, the event’s organizer.

Neighbors began gathering outside the city’s Kemble Park before marching in solidarity to Oneida Square, in honor of Floyd’s life.

"The quote from Martin Luther King, 'When there is injustice anywhere, it's a threat to justice everywhere' and so we're here to really raise that consciousness, make sure that people understand what's going on across the nation,” said Utica Common Councilman Delvin Moody.

Organizers stressed the importance of keeping the event peaceful, "When you're peaceful, you're heard. When you're not peaceful, things get distorted and you're not heard,” said James Paul from Citizen Action, the group that co-sponsored the protest.

They estimate several hundred members of the community came out in support.

"We're frustrated. We're not being heard,” Paul said, “This is a chance to have our voices heard, regardless of how we say it, we need to have our voices heard."

Coming together in solidarity, "We have different people here in the community that are ready to voice their pain, ready for us to unite together,” said Oo.

Participants were encouraged to wear masks and take other precautions.