EATON — The Fourth of July floating protest that was planned for Crystal Lake was reportedly peaceful and well-attended, organizer Quddus Snyder of Eaton told the Sun.
Snyder, 41, is the nominal head of Eaton LOVE (League of Voters for Equality) and had invited members of the public to come with festively decorated watercraft between 11 a.m.-noon on Saturday. Behind the protest was not only the national Black Lives Matter movement but the fact that a local man has been flying the Confederate flag in front of his home.
During the event there was an “8:46” moment of silence vigil in memory of George Floyd, an African-American who died while in custody of police in Minnesota.
Snyder said he considered the event to be a success.
“At a time when most people believe the nation is moving in the wrong direction, several attendees expressed hope that grassroots community-level efforts like this have the power to begin to restore and heal our society,” Snyder said Monday, adding there were many colorfully decorated boats that had pro Black Lives Matter quotes.
“The crowd was intergenerational with several children less than a year old and several older attendees in their 70s, and many ages in between.”
Snyder said particularly cute moment was when a 6-year-old girl addressed the group to say that “Jesus brings love.”
He said there were no counter-protesters “thus obviating the need to display the full moon.”
Josh Laskin, 32, of Bartlett said there was a “better turnout then expected.” A professional photographer and writer, Laskin shot the event from his canoe.
Laskin said that when offensive or negative things are heard, face-to-face conversations are more effective than simply taking to social media.
“I think it was successful. It was a fun way to spend the Fourth of July while also raising awareness of what’s going on in our current political climate,” said Laskin.
“The most important take-away was everybody there was nationally aware and had a full understanding that national change begins at a local level.”
Laskin put the photos on his Facebook page in an album called Eaton NH Floating Protest. To see them, go to tinyurl.com/floating-protest.