Delivery of Care/Opinion

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A solemn memorial, 9 minutes and 29 seconds of silent protest, was held at Care New England facilities to commemorate the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis policemen

Photo b Richard Asinof

At silent protest was held in front of Women & Infants Hospital on Wednesday, May 25, to commemorate the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis, Minn., policemen.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 5/30/22
A silent protest to remember the murder of George Floyd by police was held on Wednesday morning, May 25, at Care New England facilities.
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PROVIDENCE – It was a small, simple gathering, held in front of the entrance of Women & Infants Hospital, where nurses, doctors, administrators and staff gathered to commemorate the third anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis, Minn., policemen, the knee of one of the policemen on Floyd's neck until he was suffocated.

The solemn protest of silence was observed, beginning at 9:29 a.m., on Wednesday morning, May 25, lasting for 9 minutes and 29 seconds, with many of the health practitioners kneeling down, holding signs that said, “Black Lives Matter.”

“This tragic murder [of George Floyd] has helped the world, the United States, and our community at Care New England raise its consciousness about racism and the depth of trauma that it inflicts,” the news release said in announcing the silent protest.

The gathering, one of several held at Care New England health facilities, including Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, and the Providence Center, was made more poignant by the massacre of 19 students and two teachers in an elementary school in Texas the day before, gunned down by an 18-year-old with an AR-15 assault rifle, while the local police force apparently waited for more than an hour without seeking to breach the room where the shooter was committing his killing rampage.

The commitment of the Care New England community to participate in this series of silent protests was a life-affirming moment during of time of pandemic, where more than 1 million lives have been lost during the last two years to the virulent virus.

The business of delivering care
The powerful act of remembrance did not receive more than a blip of news coverage, as best as ConvergenceRI could determine, given all the competition of “breaking news” that occurred on Wednesday, May 25, which included the passage and signing of a new law legalizing recreational marijuana at a State House ceremony, the completion of the $5.3 billion sale of National Grid to PPL, and the continued reverberations from the mass murder of schoolchildren in Texas.

The hard-working staff at Women & Infants Hospital returned to their important daily jobs of delivering care – which includes delivering most of the state’s babies.

Indeed, some 24 hours later, at 11:37 a.m. on Thursday, May 26, Samantha Anne Irene Nesi was born at Women & Infants Hospital, to her parents, Ted Nesi and Kim Kalunian, TV news personalities at WPRI, a joyous event which was celebrated by WPRI and announced at the State House.

The changing narrative
The inability of the gun lobby to control the media narrative in the wake of the Uvalde mass murder of schoolchildren may prove to be a tipping point. The Twitter voices of the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees are speaking out, sharing facts about gun violence in America, instead of recaps of the results from baseball games.

The Miami Heat, at the opening ceremonies on Wednesday, May 25, before Game 5 in the series with the Boston Celtics, held a moment of silence. The Heat then urged fans, as voiced by the team’s public address announcer, to contact state senators and “leave a message demanding their support for common sense gun laws.”

Here in Rhode Island, at the public ceremony for the new law legalizing recreational marijuana, Sen. Josh Miller used his time at the microphone to talk about the urgent need to enact gun safety legislation.

Boston Globe reporter, Edward Fitzpatrick, described it as Sen. Miller going “off script” – which probably says more about the news media and its apparent expectation that politicians will stay “on script” in how it covers staged media events.

“It’s urgent, overdue, and more impactful,” Sen. Miller said, according to the Globe. “Enough. The moment in time for those gun safety bills is now.”

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