Activists again took to streets, parks and intersections across the St. Louis region this weekend to call for an end to heavy-handed policing tactics.
At one point Sunday, simultaneous demonstrations were underway in Ballwin, St. Ann and St. Louis. More protests took place at other times throughout the weekend, including a caravan of dozens of cars that drove through the city’s central corridor, and a march in Webster Groves.
It was the third straight weekend of demonstrations against police brutality in St. Louis, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Just under a hundred people gathered at Kiener Plaza mid-afternoon for a demonstration geared toward children. The protesters marched from the plaza to the Arch, where they knelt in silence for nearly nine minutes, to symbolize the length of time a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck, causing his death.
“Don’t ever think that your voices aren’t being heard, don’t ever think that you don’t have a voice, and don’t ever think you can’t express what you want to express,” Caleb Camp, 22, told the crowd before the short march.
Former NBA veteran and St. Louis native Larry Hughes also spoke to the gathering.
“You find some way to make an impact, to make your voice heard, and to push out a positive message,” said Hughes, 41, who runs a youth basketball academy.
Meanwhile in St. Ann, a group of local Latino organizations gathered for Marcha De Unidad to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Around 50 people marched on St. Charles Rock Road chanting “Tu lucha, mi lucha,” which translates to “Your struggle, my struggle.”
Maria Yaksic, one of the protest organizers and a board member of Comunidad STL, immigrated from Bolivia in the 1990s. She said it is time to set aside her own agenda as a Latina, until the rights of black people are recognized.
“If we came here with the idea that [America] is a democracy, then let’s act on that,” she said. "We came here with the understanding that everybody here wins, no matter that the American dream exists. Why black people don’t have it?”
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