HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A number of organizations came together in downtown Huntsville Friday evening to continue to call for social justice.
‘The Struggle Continues’ was an effort to keep the conversation about police brutality locally and nationwide going.
The rally carried a simple message. Despite the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin this week, regarded as a victory by many, the mission of police reform and social justice is far from over.
“This past year has been extremely challenging for Black people and people of color. It’s really important we lean on each other in times like this,” says organizer Unique Dunston.
Black Lives Matter, the NAACP, Project Say Something, the Citizens Coalition for Justice Reform, and Reclaiming Our Time, among others, joined together Friday in unity.
In addition to discussing police brutality, organizers also spoke out in opposition to bills making their way through the Alabama legislature that impose harsher punishments on protesters.
“Where they are trying to shut down things like this, give felonies for getting together and voicing your opinions. We want to let people know and the powers that be know that we aren’t backing down from that. That’s un-American,” said activist Keith Young.
Protesters said while pleased with Chauvin’s guilty verdict, it’s not enough for them to even take a full sigh of relief.
“A couple of days before the verdict was read, Daunte Wright was murdered by a Minneapolis police department officer, not just that but Ma’Khia Bryant, a teenager was killed from Ohio from the Columbus officer. So basically that was a celebration but guess what… We still have a long way to go,” said Travis Jackson.
Organizers say its important that citizens, of all races, remain energized and continue to demand change and wide-reaching reform.