TACOMA – As outrage continues to spark nationwide surrounding the death of George Floyd of Minneapolis, a group of people with their own agenda are hijacking peaceful protests.
The instigators cause the protests to escalate to riots, resulting in assault, arson, vandalism and looting.
A group of young people in Tacoma did not want the acts of violence to overshadow their call to action against police brutality.
Area youth hosted a peaceful protest Monday to show people the fight towards change can be done peacefully. Students also provided free handmade face masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
People of all races, ages and backgrounds participated in the peaceful protest held at Wright Park.
“It unifies us and I think that’s what we need. We need unity and we need people to stand up and say that black lives do matter,” said participant Jazmine Orosco.
“As long as we’re together and as long as we have hope and we actually do something about the things that are going on in our world then we can change it," said participant Joshua Knight. "But if we just sit back and we just listen then nothing is going to happen."
Several people in the community said they are proud to see kids leading the movement against racism and discrimination.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of anger with police brutality. It’s something that’s been going on since the founding of our country,” said a protest participant.
There were two interruptions when a couple people from the crowd shouted hate speech during the peaceful protest. People quickly silenced the hurtful words by chanting “black lives matter” in unison.
“We’re here today to do a peaceful protest, a peaceful gathering. So, even if you hear somebody saying something out of pocket it’s not your responsibility to respond to that with negative energy,” said a man who volunteered to give a speech to the crowd.
Protest participants said they are angry about the injustice seen across the country. They said they are going to use that anger to fuel their efforts towards positive change and are encouraging other communities to do the same.