A group of high school students organized another protest on Monday. Young people walked, old people walked, families with children in strollers walked. Black people and brown people and white people walked. They were all there for the same purpose, to make their voices heard.
They went from Wright Park through Old Town chanting “Say his name! George Floyd!”
They walked to the waterfront and all the way to Old City Hall chanting, “Whose lives matter? Black lives matter!” People left chalk outlines and messages on sidewalks and intersections.
They walked down Pacific Avenue to 11th Street, shutting down intersections as they went. Laying face down with their hands behind their backs, they chanted, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!”
Tacoma PD blocked traffic on main roads ahead and to the sides of the protestors, directing traffic away. Drivers already at the intersections raised their fists and honked in support. People handed out water bottles from cars on the side of the road to thirsty protestors.
They walked up the 11th Street hill and back to Wright Park. At the intersection of Division and I Street they gathered again and chanted, “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” Some of the organizers spoke to the crowd and shared messages of support.
They walked to the headquarters of the Pierce County sheriff, courthouse, and county jail. Their chants could be heard a half mile away and could certainly be heard inside the building. A group of six officers stood with bikes across the street, just behind the crowd. Someone yelled, “Fuck the police!” and they got on their bikes and rode away.
They walked six and a half miles around Tacoma and everywhere they went, people came out of their homes and watched from the sidewalks. People took pictures and videos and shared them with all of their friends.
People all around the Northwest and beyond heard the voices of the people of Tacoma and they said Black Lives Matter. They said George Floyd’s killers should be held accountable. They said they will no longer accept the things they cannot change and will change the things they cannot accept. They said they’re sick and fucking tired of living in a country built on and operated by institutional racism.