Peaceful protestors organize in NE OKC

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After a massive peaceful protest at 36th and Kelley last Sunday, smaller groups of peaceful protestors gathered in the area to make their voices heard.
 
Austin Mack organized a BBQ in the plaza as a way to get the community together.
 
He says he was at the protests in Minneapolis, and every day, he would see people come together afterward and give out supplies to people who needed them. That’s what inspired him to organize the event.
 
“It’s not really all about violence, [it’s] trying to bring everybody together,” Mack said.
 
“Our people love BBQs. This is our culture. I think culture-wise then you gather around for healing, you gather around for peace, you gather around for love, there’s always food involved,” Deja Amerson, who was at the BBQ, said.
 
Mack says he has BBQs planned in Wichita and Dallas as well.
 
There were also peaceful protestors at the street corner. Leaders of the group “The Voice Of” say they were inspired to organize after the protest last week.

“I just feel like it’s time to hold people accountable. It’s time to hold our actions. No matter the color, the race, it’s just time, it’s past time, it’s just the climate that we’re in, and it’s not going to change, we’re letting up until something changes,” Eugene Smith, the organizer of “The Voice Of,” said.

They also created a list of things they want the government to take action on. That includes consequences for police officers who violate civil rights, reparations, state funding for black entrepreneurs, and defunding the police for other community initiatives.

“Black people around the world, we don’t have anything to show for our success, we have to jump through so many hoops and loops just to get on the same platform as our white counterparts,” another organizer named Sidd said.

“How many people have unjustfully died? Innocent black men and women. Children have died. It’s just time for change,” Smith said.

A last-minute driving protest was planned with dozens of cars driving in procession down Northeast 23rd Street. Organizers say they hope people can come together for bigger issues if they can bond over something like cars.

“Cars is one thing, no matter the age, the race, the gender, male, female, does not matter, everybody love cars, everybody love bikes so we chose this to get everybody out to be a community to show that we can come together, that we can come to a common ground,” Lawayne Chery said.

KFOR reached out to the Governor’s office for a response on the list of actions from “The Voice Of” but haven’t heard back.

Gov. Stitt did hold a roundtable discussion on race this evening.

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