Students fight for POC rights
WED.| 12-30-20 | FEATURES
In 2013, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement began in response to the George Zimmerman trial. Zimmerman was found not guilty for fatally shooting black teenager Treyvon Martin. This brought the start of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter which was used across social media platforms. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” is used as a symbol of the fight for equal rights for black people and all people of color. This movement has been growing over the past seven years but recently peaked national interest on June 6, 2020. On this day, there were protests all over the country to fight for the prosecution of the police officers that shot and killed Breona Taylor and the police officers that were responsible for killing George Floyd and also to show support for the black community.
This day set records across the country with a total of over half a million people showing up to protest. These protests were seen as a symbol for many as a fight against the long-lasting discrimination of black people all over America by police and many others.
“I think the main reason for the protests is to lift up black voices and bring awareness to the systemic oppression that people of color face,” sophomore Maya King said.
These protests have been met with some push back by police and the government because of some turning violent. While the majority of protests around the country remained peaceful, there were some more violent protests in Minneapolis. This unfortunate turn of events took attention away from many of the peaceful protests going on around the country and distracted people from the main point of the movement: fighting
Graphic by Murphy Fisher
for equal treatment and an end to police brutality.
In Greenville, BLM protests took place beginning on May 31 and were largely attended. King attended this protest in Uptown Greenville.
“For the most part it was just peaceful marching and chanting, but unfortunately people go just to cause chaos so there was some property damage,” King said. “If I remember correctly the police used smoke bombs and pepper spray against the protesters.”
Although the protests in Greenville ended with some violence, the goal was to always get the message across and fight for the rights of black people.
“I hope people will research and learn about the struggles POC go through, how we benefit from white privilege, and that racism is something that is still very prevalent today and we should be fighting it,” King said.