Worcester caregivers stand vigil for George Floyd to end systemic racism

WORCESTER, Mass. — In the middle of the day Friday, at Worcester’s UMass Memorial Medical Center, 200 caregivers, maintaining COVID-19 precautions, stood silent outside the hospital’s main entrance for nine full minutes.

"It was overwhelming to stand her and just think about that poor man laying with somebody on his neck,” said Angela Halloran, a registered nurse.

Some people held signs, some knelt. Some wept.

“Honestly, I bent my head down and I just started praying,” said Michelle Memnon, office manager. “I prayed we can have world peace. I prayed for unity.”

"I don’t have any words for this. It’s overwhelming,” said LPN Danielle Fernandes. “To think he suffered that long. It’s just unimaginable that we could to that to another human being.”

This demonstration was organized by a group called White Coats for Black Lives.

In their silence, these caregivers offered a plea for racial equality.

“We are all humans, and we should all have the same opportunities, same freedom, and same feeling of safety,” said Dr. Luu Ireland. “Unfortunately, that is not happening right now with our black community.”

“This has been a long time coming as a society,” said Dr. Smita Carroll. “It’s something so important, not just for us as human beings, but us as physicians. To take a stance for our patients of color.”