See Press Release Below:
THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING AND DEADLY!
On Friday and Saturday, August 28/29, a 2-day party which locked down Talbot Ave in Dorchester, MA and attended by several thousand people, was indisputably the largest super spreader event in New England since the start of the pandemic. Party revelers set up DJ tables and flatbed trucks; and openly shared bottles of beer and marijuana for several hours. And no one said a word! Why didn’t this event make Gov. Baker as upset as he was about the prom in Chatham or Cohasset?
A large coalition of community residents, organizations, Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition (“BBCC”) who have been focused on ensuring that the needs of Black /Latino residents of Boston are met regarding COVOID-19, are outraged over what happened in Dorchester this weekend.
“I saw a gathering near Franklin Park Friday night of several hundred persons and was especially concerned that there seemed no concern by BPD to break up the event,” stated Louis Elisa, long time resident, “ I thought there was a 50 person limit that was supposed to be enforced.”
“Social media posts started inviting folks early Saturday afternoon. Elected officials and the BPD had been alerted days before that this was going to happen. By Saturday night. live videos on social media clearly showed thousands of people, partying. Though many had masks around their necks, shockingly few were wearing the masks” stated Dianne Wilkerson, BBCC member! “I waited all day Sunday for the news reports and then a press conference by Gov. Baker, Mayor Walsh, and other elected officials on Monday. It never happened! Now that we hear that there’s another party being planned for the weekend; we’re sounding the alarm.”
“I already lost my Mom to COVID-19. I’m fighting to make sure no one else has to suffer the loss of family and loved ones.” Asked Priscilla Flint Banks, BBCC Convenor.
Louis Elisa, BBCC member and member of the Mayor’s Health Equities Task Force stated, “there are only two things that could explain the silence of the media, Mayor, Governor, and other elected officials- either, they were afraid of possible backlash for dispatching the police or they just don’t care because the party revelers were Black and Latino. There is no 3rd choice! I’m not sure which is worse because whatever it was, all roads lead to death and misery!”
“Just 1 month ago, Gov. Baker was visibly angry about a prom event in Chatham and a gathering in Cohasset where 200+ people reportedly gathered. Enough so that he held a press conference and announced there would be investigations and fines for the hosts. I remember the commentators observing that he was visibly upset! But a 2000-3000 person gathering in Dorchester, advertised all day on social media that literally shut down a public thoroughfare such that MBTA buses had to be diverted, doesn’t even warrant a comment? What are we to make of that?” Asked Boston resident, Dr. Atyia Martin.
“We know that the overwhelming majority of essential service workers in Boston are Black and Latino” said Jacqui Lindsay, BBCC member, it’s not a big leap to opine that among the many partygoers were the hospital clerks, grocery store workers, nursing home staff, food service workers, who boarded the MBTA this past Monday morning and went to work! Thousands of residents in the City of Boston are at serious risk and nothing has been done to address this. We must insist on action!”
Chioma Nnaji, BBCC member stated “ I became a member of BBCC because I, too, felt strongly that COVID-19 in Boston’s Black community was not being addressed with the urgency, and focused attention the statistics clearly told us is warranted. The lack of even an acknowledgement of what we all watched live-streaming has proven my concerns were warranted!”
The Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition is calling a virtual press conference at 1pm today to demand that state and local officials marshal appropriate resources, immediately, be directed to the potentially impacted neighborhood including massive testing, tracking and tracing of some of thousands of partygoers. The group is also demanding that officials work with them to put a plan be in place, immediately, to ensure that there is not a repeat in the Franklin Park area this weekend as the partygoers have stated publicly a plan to do it again this holiday weekend.