Peaceful protest takes place outside Mississippi State Capitol

Updated: May. 29, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The protest at the State Capitol looked much different than some of the images we’ve seen from Minneapolis and other parts of the country. It was peaceful.

What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis transcends any headlines for many of those who rallied outside the Mississippi State Capitol.

“We are actually fighting for our lives every single day," said Michael Barber. "I have to get up and make sure what I put on...I have to know is it too dark? Is it too bright? You know, the other night I actually had to hold my girlfriend as she cried because she was scared for me to leave the house because of what’s going on.”

Michael Barber says he can only hope his children won’t have those same experiences. That’s another reason he didn’t want to sit on the sidelines and not speak out against racism and police brutality.

“I’m lucky I turned 22," noted Barber. "In the black community, it is a blessing to turn 21. When we reach 25, that is a milestone, not graduating college, not getting your license or anything... turning an age is a milestone. It’s not even really a tradition in our culture.”

“We the people demand the death of racism and the rebirth of liberty,” said one protester through a bullhorn.

Others echoed the idea that Mississippi’s history makes peaceful protests like this imperative.

“Racism has been a big part of Mississippi’s history for a very long time," noted D.E. Turner. "I think it was very important for us to be here today and to put Mississippi into the fight for justice and liberty for its people.”

The group did march through downtown Jackson after leaving the State Capitol. When asked about the protests, Governor Tate Reeves said this.

“I fully support everyone’s individual right to protest their government, to protest government decisions, as long as they do so in a peaceful manner," explained Reeves. "That is a constitutional right. That is one of the very foundations of our country.”

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