“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” — Elie Wiesel
I just wanted to reach out and share an encouraging story that I was a part of in my community of Lansdale, Montgomery County. On Monday night, I stood on a street corner alone in my town with a poster that read “Black Lives Matter” to show support and solidarity for the black community in Lansdale. While I was there alone, Lieutenant Devlin of the Lansdale police force joined me. We talked at length about the issues facing our country today. Lt. Devlin expressed his and the department’s support for my message and encouraged me to set up something bigger. He stated that they would stand with me and help ensure safety. The following day, on June 2, hundreds gathered in a beautiful, peaceful protest. Below is a link to an article about the experience.
As a follow-up, there was an additional rally on Sunday. It was equally peaceful and possibly more effective as it drew a crowd of 1500-2000 people. Members of the community spoke including North Penn school board officials, a county commissioner, the mayor, and a state representative. I have formed relationships with Lansdale’s police chief and a number of elected officials in the area. We are establishing a committee to continue addressing issues related to the Black Lives Matter movement. Below is a link to an article about the second event held over the weekend.
I share this message as I hope that we can all stand together with one voice.
Joshua Nielson, FRS