With the recent killings of Black men in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Charlotte, North Carolina; groups in major cities across the country are struggling to keep their protests peaceful. Atlanta is still the model for holding peaceful protests.
On Friday night several thousand protesters, lead by the NAACP, marched from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum to Ebenezer Baptist Church and the King Center.
Because Ebenezer had a Hymns & HipHop program (scheduled several months ago), the attendees joined the march as they proceeded on to the Atlanta Police Department. Lots of media coverage, a helicopter overhead, and very few law enforcement except near entrances to the interstate. Young people in neon safety vests labeled “Neutral Observers” covered the intersections to make sure traffic stopped until all the protesters passed. At the Five Points MARTA Station, about a dozen MARTA police observed the crowd as they passed along Peachtree Street.
There was free water and water being sold along the route. The diverse group of protesters were all ages, primarily in their 20’s and 30’s. They were all races, genders, religions, and socioeconomic status. Some were visiting from out of state.
Bravo Atlanta, for another peaceful protest as groups across the country continue to demand accountability of law enforcement and massive changes to the criminal justice system. This “system” is being accused of ongoing racial profiling and treating people of color differently than whites.
We are all more alike than different. In the words of Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?”