Justice and other slices of life on Mass. Ave.

Some of the crowd massed on the corner of Jefferson Cutter Park in the town center earlier today.

Some of the crowd massed on the corner of Jefferson Cutter Park in the town center earlier today.

Some 400 people came to Arlington Center earlier today for a vigil under the theme “Black Lives Matter” in response, in part, to recent events in Ferguson Missouri and Staten Island New York.

The Reverend Marta xx speaks to the crown in front of the First Parish Church before the vigil.

The Reverend Marta Flanagan speaks to the crowd before the vigil.

The event was organized by local groups including the Arlington Vision 2020 Diversity Task Group, the Arlington Human Rights Commission, and the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church.

Participants, some with signs, stood at 3 of the 4 corners of the main intersection. The 4th corner was occupied by a work crew installing traffic lights.

Signal work occupied the northwest corner of Mass. Ave. and Route 60.

Signal work occupied the northwest corner of Mass. Ave. and Route 60.

Earlier today, Mass. Ave. was also the scene of the 18th Annual Jingle Ride, a bicycle ride sponsored by Arlington’s Ciclismo Classico to raise money for Horizons for Homeless Children.

The 22-mile ride to Boston and back (“it’s a parade, not a race!”) had been scheduled to depart the Kickstand Cafe in Arlington Center at 11 AM.

Before the vigil, people gather beneath the maple tree at First Parish.

Before the vigil, people gather beneath the maple tree at First Parish.

I just am a little beyond my beat with all this stuff (not for the first time either), but it all happened on Mass. Ave. today.

I thought it was interesting to see how history and daily life, and local businesses and organizations, interact on our main street, all in a single day.

Participants gathered in front of the First Parish Church on the southwest corner of Mass. Ave. and Pleasant Street.

Despite a tentative plan to avoid the traffic-light work by walking to Town Hall, participants were then able to stand at 3 of the 4 corners of the Town’s main intersection.

Douglass Davidoff posted this video that captures the moment when the vigil ended and everyone returned to the maple tree in front of the church:

More coverage of the event at YourArlington.Com.

I’d like to thank the organizers for the opportunity to stand with my neighbors on this issue.

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1 comment so far

  1. markk02474 on

    Adam, MEMBERS of the Arlington Human Rights Commission, and not the commission itself helped organize. Under state Open Meeting Law (OML), the commission would need to post an agenda item on organizing the event 48 hours before a public meeting on it and vote at the meeting to do it. This was never done and members likely emailed each other outside of public scrutiny (in violation of OML), so its best that we all say that members of the commission organized rather than the commission itself as an official entity. OML exists to protect our civil rights and its overdue for all town government learn and follow the rules.


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