Peaceful protesters held demonstrations across the state in honor of George Floyd as police braced for more riots, looting

BOSTON — More protests and demonstrations took place in Boston and other parts of Mass. to denounce systemic racism and fight for justice for George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.

Thousands of people showed up on Monday in different parts of the state to protest against Floyd’s death for the third day since Friday.

Monday’s protests were a huge contrast to those that happened on Sunday night, where what started out as a peaceful protest quickly turned violent as riots and looting took place in downtown Boston.

Across the nation, protests are being held calling for justice for Floyd and all other innocent black people killed by police.

Vigils in honor of Floyd as well as moments of silence were also held Monday.

At Roxbury’s historical Grove Hall neighborhood, the site of riots in 1968 after Martin Luther King had been assassinated, protestors gathered to honor Floyd. Calls for justice reform followed as demonstrators mourned all innocent black lives taken too soon.

Boston clergy, community leaders and the Prophetic Resistance decided their demonstration should look a little different than the events that unfolded Sunday night. While leaders denounced the violence and looting, they say that at the heart of everything is frustration at dealing with the injustice.

In light of the riots and looting that ensued on Sunday night, businesses were seen boarding up their buildings in anticipation for Monday night’s events.

In West Roxbury, a crowd gathered by the Holy Name of the Parish church around 5 p.m., but crowds began to thin out by sunset.

They chanted, held up signs and stood in solidarity, hammering home the message of the need for justice for Floyd and many others who faced a fate like his. Some even got to their knees to honor Floyd.

Families with children as young as 8 and 9 participated in the demonstration.

In Boston, members of the National Guard were seen driving around the Theatre District and setting a staging area along the Back Bay, in efforts to discourage rioters.

This comes on the heels of President Trump’s announcement from the White House Rose Garden on Monday, where he said he would deploy the National Guard to the streets of D.C. to end the riots.

Trump also said he encouraged governors to call on the National Guard to end the riots and looting. If cities and states cannot, Trump would send members of the U.S. military to quell violent protestors.

Governor Charlie Baker said the National Guard had already been deployed to Massachusetts for weeks because of the pandemic, saying they’ll always be ready to respond to violence. Baker, however, said he disagrees with how the president is handling the situation across the nation.

“At so many times during the past several weeks when the country needed compassion and leadership the most, it was simply nowhere to be found,” said Baker.

“Instead, we got bitterness, combativeness and self-interest. That’s not what we need in Boston, it’s not what we need right now in Massachusetts and it’s definitely not what we need across this great country of ours either.”

Thousands in Worcester took part in a peaceful protest, staring at the Common at Worcester City Hall and marching to the courthouse to kneel in honor of George Floyd.

Chants saying, “I can’t breathe” loudly echoed the words Floyd spoke before he died beneath the knee of a former Minneapolis Police officer.

Joining protestors, Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent participated in praying and kneeling in honor of Floyd.

That protest ended before dark.

Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for alerts on breaking news stories like this one.

Follow Boston 25 News on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch Boston 25 News NOW