Non-profit organization 1 World Fest Global hosted a silent protest in the Rochdale neighborhood of Jamaica Queens.
With the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor; the organization wanted to make sure their voice was heard and that their message was magnified. 1 World’s CEO and Co-Founder Kamell Ellis who chanted during one of his speeches, “it’s one world and we all have to live here together” couldn’t have been more spot on with his message. 1 World’s purpose is to promote cultural inclusion and highlight the fact that we as humans have more similarities than we have differences. And Saturday was as good a time as any to get out in the community and give the voiceless a voice.
If you’ve been keeping up with the news lately, you know there have been many protests since these recent slayings. A lot of these protest have consisted of riots, looting, and chants of f**k the police. While 1 World supports all forms of expression, they chose a different approach. The organization chose to do a silent protest. Which started in the Rochdale mall parking lot and concluded with dozens of protestors standing in front of the 113th police precinct. It was a powerful statement, it showed the community that 1 World will not stand for justice and inequality against people of color.
Anyone viewing the events of the day would tell you that the visual was powerful enough to send chills down your spine. Seeing all those people peacefully standing in front of the precinct in unity was a picture worth a thousand words. The age range was a statement within itself, young kids, teenagers, adults, elders, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters all coming together representing the same cause. The symbolism is what really drove home an already powerful demonstration. Eleven “I can’t breathes” chanted by the crowd to represent the number of times the late Eric Garner whose daughter Emerald was in attendance pleaded for his life, as he was being suffocated by an officer who was never indicted. Next, the crowd held up their index fingers representing the number one for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time Derek Chauvin had his knee on the back of George Floyd’s neck despite his cries and pleas.
What preceded the actual protest was just as powerful. There was a voter registration table for the people of the Rochdale community members of the 1 World team encouraged anyone who was in attendance to register to vote. There was a handful of powerful speakers First Nation representative Will Strongheart, Councilwoman Adrieene Adams, 113TH Precinct Sargent James Clarke, Middle School teacher/artist Demi Dabady, singer Bryce Valle and Emerald Garner just to name a few. One of the powerful moments was when Sargent James Clarke shared how important it was for him to be serving the very community he comes from, and he offered some comforting words while sharing memories of growing up with 1 World CEO and co-founder Kamell Ellis. That moment set a precedent and took away some of the tension and ill will some may have been feeling towards the police. History was made on Saturday, June 20th and 1 World was at the forefront of it all, not just preaching their message but getting out there and practicing it.