Peaceful protest calls for change

A diverse group of people marched through the streets of downtown last Saturday, June 9 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Peaceful protest calls for change
July 14
08:30 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson



Hundreds of Black Lives Matter supporters rallied and marched through downtown last Saturday afternoon to show solidarity, following a pair of deadly police shootings and the sniper attack on police in Dallas.

Before hitting the streets, the diverse group of protesters, which included residents of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, gathered at Corpening Plaza located on First Street. While surrounded by a sea of residents dressed in black, rally organizer Frankie Gist said in order to see a change, people must first change themselves. He mentioned that if people don’t change their views on things such as race and gender, nothing will ever change.  He also encouraged others in the community to step up as leaders.

“We have to change the way we think, the way we look at people, and the way we judge   people,” he said. “Once we change ourselves, then we can change the community. Leaders lead first.”

In between leading chants of “No Justice, No Peace” and “Hands Up Don’t Shoot,” Gist told The Chronicle he was ecstatic to see so many people from the community and surrounding areas come out to support the peaceful protest.

“That’s what this is all about, spreading peace,” said Gist. “We are here today to call for an end to all violence. Too many lives have already been lost.”

As the protestors made their way through downtown, Tamila Waters said she decided to attend the rally because she was fed up with unjust killings of blacks by law enforcement.

“We have a system in place that has failed our community,” continued Waters. “It’s time that we take a stand and let those in power know that we will not tolerate this injustice any longer.”

Young advocate and city native Jayleen Mack said he believes more rallies should be held to get more people on the same accord.

“Before moving on to the next step, we should try bringing more people together like this. We must first develop a plan before taking any other action,” said Mack. “Once we get more people involved, I feel like we can do more.”

A number of well-known community leaders attended the rally as well, including Judge Denise Hartsfield, third vice president of the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity Pastor Alvin Carlisle, and local NAACP president Isaac Howard. City Manager Lee Garrity also attended the rally.  Mayor Allen Joines released a statement on behalf of the City Council.

The statement reads: “On behalf of the City Council and me, we are shocked and saddened by the events of this week. Citizens in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis have been killed, as have five law officers in Dallas. It is appalling. But no matter how angry we may get about these deaths, we must not allow violence to beget more violence. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims in Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas, and urge all citizens of Winston-Salem to join us in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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