Cries of many make their home at Graffiti Bridge.

Cries of many make their home at Graffiti Bridge.

By Denaius Thompson

The rally that took place on June 6 at the Graffiti Bridge was an incredible sight to behold. People of all races and colors gathered, and it looked like there were at least 150 in attendance.

What was truly inspirational was that despite the howling wind threatening to blow away tents and the rain that pestered the area for two or more hours, everyone stayed there wanting nothing more than for their voices to be heard.

One of the protestors, Nate Benge, offered his words on the protest, saying “I felt pride in that the protests here were peaceful.” Kyle Cole, the organizer of the protest, has no ill will for the rioters in more extreme cases, but he also stated that, “this way is my way, not the right way.”

Benge’s aim in attending the march was to hear the mayor’s words, to support the cause, and to hear the voice of the people. He wasn’t pleased with the mayor’s responses to the cries for justice. “I get he can only do so much, but there’s a lot he can do that he hasn’t,” Benge said.

Benge himself mentioned Cole’s quote as well citing how it addresses the fact that it’s not just people of color who this movement is for, and that it’s for every person and the rights that they are entitled to.

Towards the end of the rally, the crowd gathered into the road and everyone took a knee out of respect with their signs above their heads or their fists held up high. 

Things quickly got out of hand when a mob began to march down towards Cervantes with officers at the end of the road. The speaker began begging people to come back, and slowly they all listened and returned.

Dr. H.K. Matthew, a man who marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in his march for civil rights, offered us all a speech saying, “this is not a black movement. This is not a white movement. This is a human rights movement.”