'We Need A Change. We Can't Just Keep Being Scared': Protesters Share Thoughts At Blake Family Rally
People gathered in Kenosha continue to demand justice in the police shooting of Jacob Blake that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Chants of "No Justice, No Peace" and "Say His Name: Jacob Blake" echoed through the streets of downtown Kenosha Saturday as protesters once again rallied to Civic Center Park, across the street from a fenced off Kenosha County Courthouse where armed guards stood.
Blake’s family led the rally seeking justice for him and for the two men who were killed Tuesday by an armed 17-year-old during a night of protesting.
Leaders spoke about a need for change in how Black people are treated in America.
“We’re one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all! And we’re gon’ make sure we stand up to this police department in this community,” said Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore.
Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes added his thoughts. “I look out into this crowd and I look at the Blake family, and I see resilience. I see beauty, I see hope, and I see strength. I see some of the strongest people I’ve ever seen in my life. But that strength is because of the years, the generations, the centuries of injustice, of pain and hurt that we’ve gone through,” he said.
Jacob Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr. also spoke. He said he is mad about what happened to his son.
“My nature is to protect my son. To stand up for my son when he cannot stand up. To ask the police in this town what gave them the right to attempted murder on my child? What gave them the right to think that my son was an animal? What gave them the right to take something that was not theirs? I’m tired of this,” Blake said.
Folks that were there witnessing this moment agreed that what Black people have experienced is this country, especially at the hands of police, can’t go on. Several protestors spoke about what brought them to the rally:
“What brought me out here is wanting change. I want to be able to grow up and be successful and be the best person I can be. I want my little brothers to grow up and be as successful as they can be. I don’t want them to live in fear anymore, and I don’t wanna be able to live in fear anymore,” Dezmond Walton said.
Nathaniel Varnado said, “A lot of this stuff not right. I got a son to raise in this world. I don’t want my son out here in 20 years doing the same thing."
“I just feel like, you know, we need a change and we gotta step up. We can’t just keep being scared. If you not gon’ be here that’s a form of showing that you not standing up for the cause because we all gotta go through this for real. Like we wake up every day and we gotta worry about being messed with cuz of the color of our skin,” Dewayne Brantley said.
Christina Edwards said, “We all want the same thing. We want justice. We want equality. If we all feel, and we know and we understand that Black people are disenfranchised and we come together as a people — not only Black people, but everybody who understands and knows that this is a problem and an issue in America, and has been for the past 400 years.”
Roughly 1,000 people rallied with the Blake family in Kenosha Saturday as they continue to seek justice for their son Jacob Blake.