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Families Against Racism in Atlantic Highlands

ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ -  Chanting "Black Lives Matter" and "No Justice, No Peace" and holding signs that read "Unite in Peace" and "Stand Together"  hundreds of families took to the streets of Atlantic Highlands today in a Families Against Racism March.  Organized by friends Zosia Bowbliss, 14,  Eliza Chiles, 12, and Allysun Zydel, 13, all of Atlantic Highlands. 

Miss Bowbliss said she reached out to her friends on Snapchat and word spread quickly.  This is not her first march.  Zosia said she had marched with a much larger crowd in Long Branch.  Speaking of the Atlantic Highlands march, she said, "It's nice seeing everybody come together. This is like a small community. It's safe for everyone."  March participants were required to wear masks and maintain distance from one another.  Eliza Chiles said parents were encouraged to participate because, "It is important for the parents to know" that racism impacts us all.  Eliza, a teenager growing up in a community with a predominently white population said, "I've never had to experience any of this (racism).  It is not right."  She added, "It felt good to be doing something."

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PHOTO: March Organizers (l-r) Allysun Zydel, Zosia Bowbliss, and Eliza Chiles

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PHOTO: The Koernig family (l-r) Leo, 13, Riky (Mom), Lilly and Ben, twins, 10, carried a sign that read simply, "End Racism."

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PHOTO:  Mike Durica chats with his neighbor Josh Greeley.

Mike Durica, of Navesink, who was there with his wife and two boys was wearing a shirt that read "Silence is Violence BLM".  Durica has experience with marches in New York City.  He said he was "introducing our children" to marching for a cause.  "We can stand up and do something

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PHOTO: Cora Greeley has a simple message

Josh Greeley was there with his wife, Jen and daughter, Cora.  Two weeks ago, Josh took part in a demonstration with about a dozen people at the jug handle at 1st Avenue and Highway 36.  He wanted to share the experience with his family and they came to the march prepared with a sign that read, "Be Kind"

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PHOTO:  Families Against Racism Marchers

The march commenced at 4:00 p.m. and proceeded from the gazebo at the Municipal Harbor led by Zosia, Eliza and Allysun.  Hundreds of people in small family groups travelled along First Avenue to W. Mount Avenue and returned to the harbor along West Avenue.  Police blocked traffic for the marchers and a few officers walked along with the marchers. 

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PHOTO:  Families Against Racism Marchers

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PHOTO:  Families Against Racism Marchers

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PHOTO:  Families Against Racism Marchers

Pastor Jill Hubbard-Smith of the United Methodist Church of Atlantic Highlands shared a prayer for peace with the crowd before they departed.

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