The Our Revolution Hillsborough (ORH) chapter continues to unite different groups from around the Hillsborough community to voice their hope for change on issues that surround the town.
On Aug. 23, ORH held a solidarity march that started at Nelson’s Corner at 601 Route 206 and went by the post office and Hillsborough High School on Raider Boulevard. The march made a left turn on Route 206 where it came to an end back at Nelson’s Corner.
The event lasted almost an hour and had about 40-50 participants from around the community partaking in the march.
The chapter’s president, Didier Jimenez, said the rally was a great event to end the summer with, and that it brought new members from the community together.
“We want to unite our community to show that we do not stand for violence or inequality of any kind,” Jimenez said. “We have our own issues here in Hillsborough and we need to unite together to fix them.”
According to Jimenez, ORH’s Solidarity March was the first event of its kind to be held in the Hillsborough community.
The event followed all COVID-19 safety guidelines, Jimenez said. All participants wore masks, with masks given out at the event as well.
Hillsborough’s Just Subs sandwich shop donated sandwiches to volunteers and participants.
The main focus of the Solidarity March was for people in the community to stand together for injustices towards marginalized communities, Jimenez stated.
These groups ranged from the LGBTQ community to the Black Lives Matters movement and other communities that included environmental justice.
Jimenez and ORH state that the lives of people associated with these communities are jeopardized due to violence, oppressive policy, and inequality. Those reasons made it important for the chapter to bring awareness of these issues to the community.
“Real change comes from the bottom up,” Jimenez said. “Gender, religion, race, immigration – it doesn’t matter, we need to unite as a community to bring change.”
The Hillsborough Township Police Department was with the participants every step of the way during the march, making sure everyone partaking in the event was safe and could have their voices heard, he said.
Jimenez gave a big shout out to the police department, saying the patrolmen on hand were respectful and worked meticulously to provide safety for people and allowed them to use their right of freedom of speech.
This is the third protest/march ORH has run in the last three months.
The organization ran two peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in late May and June after the death of George Floyd to advocate for social justice, reform the criminal justice system and policing methods.
Jimenez said the organization got a lot of great feedback from the protests and that it brought more attention to people in the Hillsborough community about what ORH is about and how it is trying to raise more awareness on social, economic and political issues within the town.
“The march is a step in the right direction for Hillsborough,” said ORH organizer Gabe Salazar. “It was important to have a march to continue amplifying the calls for justice for historically marginalized communities not only in our town, but in the country. Because of the inherent inclusivity of the Solidarity March, people from our town felt comfortable to share the changes they want to see.”
In Jimenez’s eyes, the protests and marches are bringing more people from around Hillsborough together who didn’t know each other or their respective group existed in the town, and that, he says, will help bring change to the community.
“We’re slowly seeing folks from all spectrums coming together,” Jimenez said. “Myself and my colleagues have seen people have great reactions to what we are trying to do. They’re loud and energetic. They see us reaching out on topics that are not toxic.”