"No Justice, No Peace! No racist police!” was yelled as protesters marched toward Riverfront Park amid the gaze of the group of police officers.
On Saturday, Occupy Spokane, a local activist organization, held a Black Lives Matter protest at the big red wagon in Riverfront Park from 2 to 5 p.m. after charges against Breonna Taylor’s killers didn't yield the results wanted by protesters.
Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky police officers on March 13 in her apartment when a search warrant was executed.
The local Spokane community and students from Gonzaga University attended the rally out of solidarity for Taylor’s family and the larger Black community.
“There’s just so many things wrong that it just makes me mad — physically angry,” junior Maren Beauchamp said. “It’s just heartbreaking, seeing every day, reading the news. It’s terrible.”
At the rally, several people spoke atop the big red wagon against the injustices people of color face.
“It’s nerve racking," said Duaa-Rahemaah Williams, a speaker at the rally. "You don’t know how people will take what you say, if they’re going to utilize it, if it’s going to go on deaf ears. So, I was excited to bring the message because I felt like I had a lot of good points and things that would make somebody say, ‘Hmm…,’ and want to see change."
Following the round of speakers, participants of the rally marched toward the Spokane County Courthouse. A pack of police officers on bikes followed them around, and a small group of counterprotesters appeared a quarter of the way through the march.
Protesters re-convened at the wagon at 3:22 p.m. Organizers played sections of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 's, “I Have A Dream Speech,” over the speakers before more speakers came forward.
The event closed out with an open-mic portion where anyone could come forward and speak their mind.
“How I like to look at protests is you go in feeling almost disheartened or angry and come out feeling empowered," said freshman RJ McGee. "Hearing all these people with the same goal — all in support of the same thing, coming and speaking and showing support, and standing in unity — that is always a good feeling. You come out feeling empowered and you want to do more to help.”
There are more upcoming demonstrations this fall:
The Human Rights Activist Coterie is hosting a rally to denounce Killology at the Spokane County Courthouse on Sunday at 3 p.m.
Police Brutality Die In at the Spokane County Courthouse on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Chalk for Change at the Tribal Gathering Place/Huntington Park on Oct. 10 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Human Rights Halloween Bash at the Tribal Gathering Place/Huntington Park on Oct. 13 from 1 to 6 p.m.
“[Young people] can make an impact by voting," Williams said. "I’m just going to say that because we have the power to put who we want and who we need into office. If everyone keeps saying, ‘my vote doesn’t matter,’ how will you know if you don’t vote?”