Peaceful parade and protest held in Athens Saturday afternoon

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ATHENS, Ala. — Athens resident Carlos Franklin organized a parade and protest Saturday afternoon, calling for racial justice and the safety of the next generation.

“I just called a bunch of car clubs here from Nashville, Madison, Huntsville, and all of us decided we would get together for a nice George Floyd Parade, nice peaceful event,” Franklin said.

The parade began at Athens Middle School on Highway 31. The drivers then made their way to Jefferson Street and Browns Ferry Street, before arriving at Lincoln Bridgeforth Park for a community car show and peaceful protest.

“So we can get the word out that we don’t want this kind of abuse in our city,” Franklin said. “We want to have good interaction with the police; I see we got the mayor out here and we just want to have a good interaction with everybody in our community so our kids will have a better future than we have.”

Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks was happy to support that cause.

“He was going to go down to his property and then I said why don’t you just come out here, you’ve got trees, you’ve got the history of this park and just a great day, a great location, not only a beautiful day, but for the right reason, and that’s what we all need to be working on,” Marks said.

Franklin said he plans to have many more events in the future but is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 developments.