HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thousands of people are expected to be downtown over the weekend, enjoying an arts festival that attracts people from across the southeast.
As Panoply starts Friday, there will also be a Black Lives Matter rally nearby.
“Part of this gathering will be centered around what a lot of us would consider a watershed moment,” said Keith Young, the founder of Black Lives Matter in Huntsville.
The watershed moment Young describes is when Derek Chauvin was convicted on all charges, Tuesday, in George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Peace, harmony, and social justice have always been the center of the Black Lives Matter movement in Huntsville, Young said.
Early on in an interview with News19, Young referred to Friday’s event as a celebration.
He clarified that later on in the interview, referencing tragedies that happened during and after Chauvin’s conviction.
“A young lady, right before the verdict in Ohio, was shot four times in the chest by an officer as soon as he arrived on the scene, a 15-year-old girl,” Young said. “Yesterday in South Carolina, a man was killed.”
It’s not clear when the two events will intersect in Huntsville.
Organizers behind both separate events say they’re all about peace and harmony.
“Panoply is set up in Big Spring Park main but our downtown is a large area. There is plenty of space and opportunity for people to come out and protest peacefully and express themselves peacefully. Much like we’ll have a celebration in Big Spring Park main, we invite the community to come down for a wonderful Friday evening in downtown Huntsville,” Allison Dillon-Jauken said. She’s the executive director of Arts Huntsville.