by Love and Rage Team
The Utica Abolitionists and other activists marched with the family and friends of Jessie Lee Rose on October 10, 2020 to honor the teenager who was killed by the Utica police in 2013 and to also celebrate Indigenous People’s Day. For a more detailed account of the rally and march, check out the article published by Love and Rage Media last week. These photos were taken by Daniel DeLoach, Elizabeth Horton and Brendan Maslauskas Dunn.
The playground at Addison Miller Park in West Utica is the location where Jessie Lee Rose was tragically killed by the police on July 14, 2013. This was the very first time Jessie’s parents stepped foot in the park since moving out of Utica six years ago. Rage, grief, anger, healing, outrage, connection, happiness, hope… these words only gently dance around the range of emotions felt in Addison Miller that warm October day.
Jessie’s mother Kristine gave a powerful speech to the group, as did Utica Abolitionists and one of Jessie’s friends. A message of solidarity and love was read out loud from the Resilient Indigenous Action Collective. This rally was seven years were in the making.
The group marched from Addison Miller Park into the heart of Cornhill and eventually made it to the Columbus statue on Utica’s historic and iconic Memorial Parkway. York Street, Burrstone Rd, Pleasant, Oneida, James, Mohawk – all of these city streets were graced by the presence, the defiance, and the humbleness of the demonstrators. Jessie’s spirit walked among them.
Justice for Walter Washington
An abrupt stop, a short speech, a moment of silence. This was not just a day for Jessie Lee Rose, nor was it only a celebration of Indigenous People’s Day. From the inception of this protest earlier in the summer, Kristine Lee Rose demanded that Black Lives Matter be chanted alongside Native Lives Matter and that Justice for Walter, and for her son Jessie, remain a core demand. Oneida Street, just a few houses north of James Street was where Sgt. Geddes killed Walter Washington in 2005. Family of Walter Washington and witnesses of the murder stood in with the activists and with Jessie’s family.
The Columbus Statue
The march ended at the most hated monument in the city. Kristine talked about the murderous legacy of Columbus and the conquistadors. A KKK cloak was thrown on the statue of Columbus – a provocative act that was received by a very mixed response in the community. The day ended with a reading of the “Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address – Greetings to the Natural World.” There is still so much more to be written about the Justice for Jessie and Justice for Walter campaigns. The future is unwritten.