THOR Unites the Peninsula for George Floyd Vigil

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 The Heart of Rockaway (THOR) brought both ends of the peninsula together for a peaceful prayer vigil to remember George Floyd.

On Thursday, June 4, the same day for the nationwide memorial for George Floyd, civic association, THOR, brought the community together to pay its respects  on the Beach 73rd boardwalk. Lisa George, a candidate for Assembly District 31 and president of THOR, began the event by laying out the mission. “We’re here for unity. THOR, as we are mothers and dads and we are feeling everything the community is feeling, we wanted to find some peace and solidarity and we want to do that with prayer and in memory of George Floyd,” she said. “The actions we have seen, the injustice we have seen, we need to call for an end to it. We do not want to have police brutality in our community. I have members of my family who are police officers. We are not saying all cops are bad. But we do want those that are not honoring that badge, that they’re going to be held accountable for the actions that they do against people of color because it’s been going on for far too long and it’s time for it to come to an end.”

THOR’s first vice president, Edwin Williams, spoke of his fears for his black children. “Today we’re going to pay our respects to the Floyd family. What happened to him, should not happen to anyone else. I’m a father of two young men, 8 years old and 12, and I should not have to worry if they go to the store or if they’re in school, if they’re gonna come home alive. We’re sick of it and that’s why everyone is out here, all shades,” he said.

Local black youth were given the opportunity to speak. Among them were Williams’ sons. “I really got annoyed because of all this killing, racism, it really annoyed me and I want it all to end,” Christian Williams said.

A student from Scholars’ Academy spoke about the hope for change in her own school. “I’m tired of feeling like I have to educate my peers because I feel like my school, which is a diverse school should be educating my peers for me. We should be having these conversations and it should not be left on the shoulders of students of color to have these conversations for them,” she said.

Clergy members led the group in prayer and officials such as  Senator James Sanders, Queens Borough President Sharon Lee and Queens Borough President candidate Liz Crowley spoke of their support for the movement. The vigil ended with a moment of silence, in which everyone in attendance got on their knee to honor George Floyd.

 By Katie McFadden

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