[Photo Story] Peaceful Protesters March In State College’s ‘Justice For Black Lives’ Rally
Hundreds of community members flocked to downtown State College Sunday night to take part in the borough’s “Justice For Black Lives” protest.
For nearly three hours, demonstrators took to the streets to protest against racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. His death sparked protests, rallies, and riots throughout the nation, including another peaceful protest in Happy Valley last week.
The protest began at the Allen Street Gates, where demonstrators donning face masks gathered with many signs in hand.
Outside the gates, community members spoke to the crowd and addressed Floyd’s death while demanding justice for countless others who’ve also been victimized by police brutality and racism.
“This is not a hashtag movement. This is a real-life revolution,” State College resident Tierra Williams said. “All black people are asking for is equality. All we are asking for is justice. We’re not asking for anything else…We just want our lives to matter. We want our day in court, not our day in the street with somebody’s knee on our neck.”
Soon after, protesters began marching down the streets of State College and onto Penn State’s campus while chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Peace,” and “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” among others. They gradually made their way up and down College Ave. and Beaver Ave. before winding up outside the State College Municipal Building.
The protest was planned by the 3/20 Coalition, an organization formed following the death of Osaze Osagie, who was shot and killed by State College police serving a mental health warrant in 2019. Since then, the advocacy group has fought for change in the community and vocally supported mental health and police reforms.
Outside the State College Municipal Building, organizers read a list of the 3/20 Coalition’s 10 demands for borough and county leaders. They included a “divestment of guns,” changes to police practices and policies, compensations for the Osagie family, public access to misconduct information, and reallocation of police funds, among others.
Many protesters held fists in the air as an act of solidarity among demonstrators and in honor of police brutality victims.
Community members will reportedly host another protest at noon on Sunday, June 14 at the Allen Street Gates.
A special thank you to friend of the blog Jessie Orndorff for providing us with these great photos!
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Garcia is the first known Penn State student to die after contracting the virus.
“We will no longer sit back and watch as the university continues to disrespect and misuse its BIPOC students.”
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