NSCAN, former candidate for Congress
Why are you at the rally tonight?
We’re here to put support behind one of our neighbors. He is a pillar of the community, he runs a mom and pop business, and unfortunately, he was arrested and is facing charges for protecting himself and protecting his business and protecting our community as a whole.
How do you think the police department should handle emergency calls, like property damages, looting, and violence in the neighborhood?
Context is very important. Individuals that are in the [Norris Square] community just running a mom-and-pop store don’t have [many] resources. [During past protests,] there were cops over in Fishtown that were guarding businesses out there but not here. Where Fishtown seems to be more white-centric, this is a Latino neighborhood. Our businesses are not having the same protection. So, [Gonzalez] was forced into a situation where he had to protect himself, and now he’s facing repercussions for protecting himself and his community.
If you could send a message to city leadership, what would you say?
I would ask that City Hall get behind us; get behind him. Look at the context. Again, this is not white vigilantes on top of GameStop or a Target or something like that. This is someone who was under attack and who defended himself, and self-defense is something that everybody has the right to.
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Editors: Zari Tarazona, Claire Wolters, Siani Colón / Designer: Henry Savage
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