OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of protesters marched from 23rd street to the Oklahoma State Capitol building Friday in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and the March on Washington in 1963.
The group began in a parking lot across the street from the Tower Theater. The protest remained peaceful for the entire duration. In the parking lot, they had speakers including State Senator Jabar Schumate from Tulsa and University of Oklahoma defensive back Justin Broiles, among others.
Jabee Williams, a local rapper and march organizer, had his father perform a rendition of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. There were also Native American chants performed by two people.
They made their way to the State Capitol after almost an hour in the parking lot on 23rd Street. Vehicles led the way, while people on bicycles blocked traffic and others followed on foot. They stopped twice to perform chants, once in the intersection of 23rd Street and Broadway, the second time under a bridge just east of that intersection. They had an open mic session when they got to the capitol for protesters to speak.
“Equality. We’re asking for equality, and pretty much that it’s ridiculous that we’re still doing it in 2020. It just makes absolutely no sense,” said march organizer Yolanda Meekins.
“I hope today that our voices are heard, I hope today that people see us and understand that we want to live the same way that you want to live,” said Williams. “You don’t like violence, we don’t like violence. You don’t like fighting, we don’t like fighting. Everything that everyone is talking about and that everyone’s concerned about, we’re concerned about the same thing.”
The protesters were originally supposed to go onto the south steps of the capitol. Instead they stayed on the west side. There was a group of armed individuals who told KFOR they were there to “protect” the capitol property. They stood in the southeast grass of the state capitol building. They did not show any signs of hostility toward protesters.
The protesters marched back to the parking lot off 23rd Street, where the protest ended.
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