Bundled up against the wind chill and holding handmade signs, more than 80 Vineyarders gathered at Five Corners on New Year’s Day for a march of solidarity.

"All lives matter" was message of event planned by Martha's Vineyard chapter of NAACP. — Ivy Ashe

Organized by the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP, the march was held to show support for the ongoing protest efforts across the country sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. More protests followed in the wake of grand jury decisions not to indict the respective police officers responsible for the deaths, with people calling for an end to systemic violence against African Americans. Most recently, the shootings of New York Police Department officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have led many protestors to stress a broad, peaceful message.

NAACP president Erik Blake, who is also the Oak Bluffs police chief, told the Gazette this week that when people had reached out to the organization about a march, the message they wanted to convey was that all lives matter.

The messages on the signs said as much: Black Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, All Life Matters. Some walkers held their hands over their heads, in a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture that became common in demonstrations after Mr. Brown’s death in August.

Martha's Vineyard NAACP president Erik Blake: “I think it’s important to take a stand." — Ivy Ashe

“I think it’s important to take a stand,” Mr. Blake told attendees at the end of the march, which wound from Five Corners up to Main street and finally down Union street to the Steamship Authority traffic circle. He acknowledged the different messages on the signs and observed that they were not “a conflicting statement.”

March co-organizer Carrie Tankard, vice president of the Vineyard NAACP, thanked people for turning out.

“How many people do you think we have here?” Mr. Blake said.

“Not enough,” someone answered.