August 11, 2020

Students Organize ‘Black Lives Matter’ Rally for Racial Justice in Lyme

Sadie Frankel, a rising junior at LOLHS, is spearheading Sunday’s rally in Lyme for racial justice.

LYME — Sadie Frankel of Lyme is one of the students, who has helped to form a community branch of the High School Democrats in Lyme and Old Lyme — a group, which is not affiliated with Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Lyme Selectman John Kiker serves as the group’s adviser.

Now, along with some of her fellow Lyme-Old Lyme High School students, she has organized a Black Lives Matter Lyme-Old Lyme Students Rally For Racial Justice on Sunday, June 14, at 1 p.m., on the Lyme Town Green (480 Hamburg Rd.)
People of all ages are welcome to come and support the students in their fight for change.

The students ask everyone who attends to bring a sign if possible, but definitely wear a mask, and maintain social distance.

Asked why she was motivated to pull together this rally, which follows on closely from last Sunday’s march and rally for racial justice in Old Lyme, Frankel responded during a phone call Thursday, “We went to the Old Lyme rally and it was powerful, but it was mostly adults. We wanted to do something that was student-led … that allows young people to talk about something that’s really important to them.”
The program does open with an adult speaking when the Rev. Dr. Steve Jungkeit from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme offers opening remarks, but thereafter, only students will speak. The students assisting Frankel are Connie Pan, Riley Nelson and Mariame Kazadi — the first three are LOLHS rising juniors while Kazadi is a senior at the high school.

A protester from last Sunday’s rally for racial justice held in Old Lyme.

Frankel noted that Kazadi, who is a refugee from the Congo now living with her family in Old Lyme, will give recount her experiences, “as a person of color in Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

After the initial scheduled speeches, an “Open Mic” session will be held at which anyone is free to speak.

Frankel explained that the rally will include “a reading of the of names of those who have been killed by police brutality,” and the observance of 8:46 minutes of silence in acknowledgement of, “the amount of time that a police officer in Minneapolis kneeled on George Floyd’s neck,” immediately prior to his {Floyd’s} death.

The rally will conclude with additional student speeches.
What does Frankel hope the event will achieve? She said firmly, “We want to give the message that this can’t end today. We can’t give up after this. It is necessary for these events to continue and for people to show up,” adding, “As a privileged community, we’ve got to fight for the difference and it’s the time to do that now.”

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