MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A student-led peaceful protest that expected to bring hundreds, ended up bringing thousands to the State Capitol courtyard on Tuesday afternoon.

High school seniors from different schools hosted a sit-in of epic proportions. It all started with an instagram and Facebook post, where the organizers called it a “Sit to Breathe” protest.

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Organizers hoped for a couple hundred people — but before they knew it, 12,000 people were interested in the event.

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Loulou Lambert and her friend Dejaun Simmons attend De La Salle High School — they ran free concessions at the event, providing snacks and water to those attending.

“This really hurts my heart. I sit up at night with my family and I cry because this is wrong in so many ways,” Simmons said.

Young people are trying to grapple with a reality even adults can’t begin to understand.

“We’re sick and tired of injustice and want to see change and we are ready for that,” one protester said.

This viral event shows the power of our youth, and their powerful voices behind them.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield