JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The crowd was shoulder to shoulder in front of the Governor’s mansion on Saturday, but what they couldn’t do with social distancing, they did with masks.
Hundreds of people, possibly thousands, marched in solidarity for racial equality. It was the biggest of Saturday’s rallies.
“We rise. We will not be stopped. We have come this far and we will not, we cannot, we won’t give up now," said Hinds County Administrator Jennifer Riley Collins.
It was a peaceful protest, with church groups, college students, and even the New Black Panther Party in attendance. The crowd was made up of all races and people of all ages, and speakers offered impassioned messages of unity.
“Today I don’t come to you as an organizer. I don’t come to you as a young activist," said speaker Maisie Brown. “I come to you as a concerned Mississippian wondering how long she can hold on to a state that she loves with all of her heart.”
They spoke of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, but also brought up Ricky Ball, a black man in Columbus who was killed by white officer, Canyon Boykin, the case against whom was just dismissed with prejudice by Attorney General Lynn Fitch. The overturning of that case has caused other protests around the state.
“Don’t let the message get co-opted by negative narratives that are more salacious than the meaningful movement,” said Riley-Collins.
Many left the protest with a new mission that she gave them as she finished her speech.
“It’s time to shut this foolishness down.”