Wearing face masks, carrying bottled water and holding signs with phrases such as “I can’t breathe,” “No justice no peace” and “reform the justice system,” hundreds of community members attended the Justice for George Floyd & Black Lives Matter Protest Wednesday at Linear Park in Brownsville.
The pacific protesters, who were mostly teenagers and young adults, gathered at the park and marched all the way to the Cameron County Courthouse chanting and seeking justice for George Floyd, who was killed while in custody of four Minneapolis police officers on May 25.
“I am only 19 years old and I am tired of seeing dead black bodies on the streets. This movement has been going on for so long now and we are all tired. Not just African Americans, not minorities; everyone is tired … George Floyd wasn’t the first and we are tired,” Tiffany Campbell, one of the protest organizers who is Latina and African American, said to the crowd at the beginning of the protest.
“Police brutality has to end, but revenge is not the answer. We are doing this to remind people that we are here for acceptance, we are here for love and we are here for peace, and the fact that all of you showed up today in support, shows me that we are getting closer to this every day.”
As demonstrators made their way to the downtown area, volunteers and the Brownsville Police Department handed out cold water to the crowd. Honoring Floyd, and every black person who has been killed unjustly by the police, all attendees got on their knees for nine minutes of silence.
“I decided to come here to give a voice to the black community, we hear them, we love them and we are going to fight for them no matter what,” said Rejeanne Aguilar,16, who attended the event with friends. “We know the system is messed up and we need to fix it, I would like the system to be fixed; we are creating a revolution here and we just want the black community to know that they are heard.”
Hopeful for the future, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley professor Mark Kaswan, who attended the protest and is very active in the community, said it was incredible to see all the young people gathering to seek justice. He said it is time to build a better world for everyone.
“Our future is in people who are concerned about justice, people who are concerned about the quality of the world that they are growing up and coming into,” he said. “They see that it doesn’t work for people like them and that they need to be part of building something that’s a lot better.”