Quitman’s first peace rally was successful Saturday

Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 10:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2020 at 11:24 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - At Sumrall Park in Clarke County Saturday, Quitman’s first peace rally nearly took a turn for the worse.

Saturday, a number of protesters came out for a peaceful march to the county's courthouse demanding action.

In the peace rally, there were armed protesters, armed counter-protesters, chants and even a heated verbal confrontation.

“I didn’t felt that I was doing anything wrong. I’m not breaking the law by standing on the street. Honestly, I was fired up and a little heated. My focus wasn’t on them, it was on the other guy I was shouting at,” said protester Dennis Harris.

The group marched their way to the county’ courthouse chanting “get your knee off my neck” and “no justice, no peace.” In the march, armed protesters could be seen in the front of the line.

“No one came out here to start anything but we are going to defend ourselves. We’re going to defend our people and we’re not going to allow you to hurt them. At no point in time, did you see us being agitators. At no point in time, did you see us strike violence or say anything to them,” said event organizer Anastassia Doctor.

Organizers said their goal was to fight for unity and to let everyone know they won’t stop their voices from being heard.

“If we come together, we can understand each other. We may have come here on different ships but we’re in the same boat now. We ask people to register to vote and we ask people to fill out their census. There are some messages we would like to send to the public. There was no hostility here may be lack of understanding in some points. We hope to close that gap,” said event organizer Thaddeus Edmonson.

“Since 1619, black lives have not mattered. This is an uprising and were not going to take this anymore,” said Doctor.

Organizers said there will be another march on July 18 in Laurel, Mississippi. The lineup will start at 9 am at the JCPenney parking lot.

Copyright 2020 WTOK. All rights reserved.

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