“We’re here to be Jhamal’s voice in all of this,” said Bernard Tribble, Jhamal Gonsalves’ stepfather to Uprise RI. “We hope that people can come together peacefully and stop this brutality by the police. We don’t want young men getting hurt by police doing whatever they want to do to our youth.“
The family of Jhamal Gonsalves, the young man now in a coma after a police cruiser impacted his moped, led a peaceful march of hundreds of people from the Knight Memorial Library on Elmwood Avenue to the Providence Public Safety Complex on Washington Street, Tuesday evening. The march was organized by members of many different social justice organizations, including the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), the Providence DSA and members of Jhamal Gonsalves’ Bike Life community.
- Ride-Out organizers and fellow bikers issue statement on Jhamal Gonsalves and the police-moped impact
- PERA calls for an independent review of police-moped impact
- PVD city officials hold press conference about police cruiser-moped impact
At the Public Safety Complex the march was met by a phalanx of police officers in riot gear standing behind protective barriers with clubs and zip ties. Some officers wore full military gear and camouflage, and what appeared to be snipers could be seen on the roof of the Complex and on various levels of the parking garage across the street. There was much confusion in the crowd, and a speaking program struggled to get started.
After the family ended their protest and led a majority of the protesters away, violence broke out between protesters who refused to leave and members of the Providence Police Department. Around 20 people were arrested according to reporter Brian Amaral at the Providence Journal. The chaotic night was filled with fog, smoke from fireworks used by protesters, and smoke from the tires of motorized bikes, but it was mostly over by 11pm.
UpriseRI reporter Will James livestreamed the event
Here’s video of the speakers at Knight Memorial Library, starting with Andira Alves, from the Party for Socialism and Liberation:
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Bernard Tribble, the stepfather of Jhamal Gonsalves, spoke to the crowd alongside Jhamal’s mother and other family members.
Nika Salazar, an organizer with the Providence DSA, Reclaim RI and AMOR:
Vanessa Flores Maldonado from the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) and John Prince from DARE:
Jeremy Costa and members of the Rhode Island motorized bike riding community:
At this point noise and action from motorized bikes interrupted the speaking program, and the march began:
Here are scenes of the march. Over 500 people participated.
More speeches at the Providence Public Safety Complex:
After the bulk of the protesters departed, altercations began between some of those remaining and the police.