NEN urges action for racial justice


NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Environmental Network (NEN) applauded the effort of several young people to mobilize a Black Lives Matter protest in June and called for borough officials to take action for racial justice.

On June 6, a rally on the Naugatuck Green called for police reform and social justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death May 25 at the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. Protesters then marched to the Naugatuck Police Department.

“A portion of our human family is being violently singled out by police nationwide. Our young people mobilized over 1,000 people. It showed a deep understanding of systemic racism and its historic connection to policing,” NEN said in a news release.

NEN also called for the Board of Mayor and Burgesses and the Naugatuck Police Commission to cut ties with the federal 1033 program that provides excess military equipment to law enforcement agencies, and shift funds from the Naugatuck Police Department to Naugatuck Youth Services. The group also urged the Board of Education to implement an African American history course in schools.

NEN continued to call for all Naugatuck citizens to join with “our black, brown, and white youth,” and for people to support a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives condemning police brutality, racial profiling and the use of excessive force; the Green New Deal with affirmative action features; and legislation proposed in Hartford to shift money to preventive health approaches and housing in African American neighborhoods.

“These actions would give vivid testimony that Black lives matter,” NEN said in the release.