by LESLIE HANNON
(ROCHESTER NY--) On Sunday, September 20th hundreds of people gathered in MLK Park in Rochester to celebrate what would have been the 42nd birthday of Daniel Prude.
Alongside heartfelt memories and insights into who Daniel Prude was, the theme of the evening was political action. Calls to vote, and to register to vote could be heard as well as calls to get involved in local government to create change from within.
After poetry and powerful powerful calls to action the crowd enjoyed complimentary food and danced as a DJ played music.
Daniel Prude’s brother Joe Prude speaks of Daniel’s spirit on what would have been his 42nd birthday.
Local poet Agapé Towns spoke of getting involved in the local legislative process and shared moving spoken word pieces inspired by his own experiences and the problems facing the city of Rochester.
Community organizer "Rafael" leads revolutionary chants. He spoke about being an example of what it means to be revolutionary and shared his thoughts on the situation with the Mayor and police chief regarding the Daniel Prude case.
Brighton Town Council Member Robin Wilt compared policing in the suburb of Brighton to policing in Rochester.
Frank Nitty II from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who walked with other protesters from Milwaukee to Washington DC called for people to get involved in local government and become the elected officials who can make change.
As the sun set on the city and people lined up for complimentary food, some in the crowd started to dance.
The mood on Sunday was a mix of somber and celebratory, with a focus on action beyond the streets. A short time after the event ended, Free the People Roc organizers and others headed back to the City Hall Occupation. After thanking the participants, organizers asked people to go home, rest, and reflect on recent events, as they plan to mobilize in a different way in the coming days.
LESLIE HANNON is a photographer and a volunteer contributor for Reclaiming the Narrative.