“Breathe Through Me” Peace Rally set for Saturday
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Local protesters will be raising their voices in Meridian’s third “Breathe Through Me” Peace Rally against injustice and police brutality Saturday.
Protesters will meet on the city hall lawn at 3 p.m. and then march to the Meridian Police Department on 22nd Avenue South.
“We’re going to march where the COFO building was. We’re going to march where are the black-owned buildings were. For what I hear, there was a historical grant to restore that area but I don’t see it restored. We need to connect with our history. We’re going to go over the 22nd Ave. Bridge to show that together we are overcoming,” said Dream Team of the South lead organizer, NSpire Walker.
Event organizer Eddie Holt says the rally was sparked by what happened to Levi Gibbs when he was arrested by Meridian police officers.
“One of the things that we’re going to do is to let the people know what to do when a police officer stops you and asks you certain questions. You need to know what your rights are. You don’t have to cooperate and you don’t have to let them search your vehicle. One of the questions they ask is, do you take responsibility for everything found in your vehicle? That is a question that they should not be asking,” said Holt.
Organizers said they chose to march from city hall to the Meridian Police Department to send a message to its leaders.
“We want to draw the attention upon city hall. We want to draw the attention of the mayor and the governing authority which is the city council. We want to let them know that we are watching you and we won’t change. We’re ending it at the police station for the same reason,” said Holt.
With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, Walker is encouraging people to follow the recommended CDC guidelines.
“Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. COVID-19 is in our minds, and we know there is a risk with it. So many risk factors existed before COVID-19. We’re doing our part with the mask, making sure people are aware, and we’re staying safe. It’s been other risks with the injustice. We are already taking a risk with that. We have to move forward. We’re using our wisdom, doing the best we can, and moving in faith,” said Walker.
Holt said he hopes to educate people about injustice in the community.
“There’s a lot of profiling and promotion that we are dissatisfied with. There’s a lot of things that we’re going to address at the rally. We want to do this peacefully. We want to let the people know to come and get involved with this,” said Holt.
Walker also said a major focus will be the removal of the confederate statue outside of the Lauderdale County Courthouse.
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