MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A coalition of more than 20 groups raised their voices in support of justice for George Floyd Monday.
They arrived outside the Hennepin County Government Center in the early morning. As the day progressed, their numbers increased.READ MORE: Jury Selection In Derek Chauvin Trial Paused For At Least A Day
Their chants echoed throughout downtown, demanding justice and reform.
Marching to the beat of the hearts of people who want change, the crowd moved from the government center to outside U.S. Bank stadium.
Many of those gathered have been here before.
“Lots of people continuing to stand for justice for George Floyd and to push for a conviction of Derek Chauvin and the other three officers responsible for the death of George Floyd,” Nekima Levy Armstrong said. “And then looking at big picture issues such as the need for systemic change within the system of policing and the criminal justice system.”
From ages 8 months to 80, people came out to show solidarity in the fight for justice for George Floyd.
“They built a million dollars in fences but we’re still here, we’re here for police accountability,” Sam Martinez with the Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar said.
Twin Cities Coalition 4 Justice 4 Jamar is one of 20-plus organizations with people on the ground making demands of a system they say is broken.
“We are all here today to honor George Floyd and seek justice but we want something bigger. We want police accountability and we know we can get that through community control of the police,” Martinez said.
The crowd was organized and provided its own security.READ MORE: Timeline: George Floyd’s Death, Unrest In Minneapolis And The Derek Chauvin Case
They had marshals out front and in back to keep protestors safe.
“For at least the past six years we have been marching consistently whether the world is watching or they’re not, so we have been able to form a very close-knit community of activist and community organizers and people from various neighborhoods who show up and stand in solidarity,” Armstrong said. “Remember that on May 25, 2020 a Black man was killed in Minneapolis at the hands of police over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill.”
This cry for justice is not only for the family of Floyd, others who lost loved ones by the hands of law enforcement were also in the crowd.
“Everyone is still here, they’re still fighting and it doesn’t matter what the age is or what race or whatever it is. Everyone is here for the same cause,” Anthea Yur of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence said.
The protest was without incident.
Law enforcement and members of the Minnesota National Guard stood behind barricades and barbed wire, protecting the government center and those directly involved with the trial.
They are also protecting the public’s right to protest, a right this crowd says they will express loudly in hopes of bringing about change.
“When police violate the laws, when they violate our civil rights and civil liberties, they need to held accountable. That is what this is about and we will continue to stand up for justice. We won’t let the government silence us,” Armstrong said.
The coalition of groups plan to protest on key dates throughout the trial, including opening statements, closing arguments and when the jury delivers a verdict.
“The people have a voice and we’ll continue to use our voice no matter what,” Armstrong said.