Hundreds rally in Blacksburg

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 6:43 PM EDT
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Crowds of people stopped traffic as they marched through Blacksburg and Virginia Tech’s campus Monday afternoon.

Sounds of solidarity rang through the streets as hundreds rallied together in hopes of seeing change.

“We are all the same and if we unite together, we can find justice,” protester Marhaid Preston said.

The demonstration was part of a nationwide call to action after George Floyd died in police custody last week in Minneapolis.

“To me this is personal because George Floyd could have been my half-brother. Anyone of these African Americans that have been killed could have been my cousin, my half-brother, half-sister, my nieces, my nephew and I am doing this for them,” protester Alexandra Gauthier said.

The demonstrators weaved through the neighborhood and onto Virginia tech’s campus, pausing outside the Blacksburg Police Department in the beginning and again at the end of the rally.

The shouts and chants echoing the same outrage and demanding justice.

“And this is what needs to happen, we need to come together, we need to voice our opinion, we need to show these people that we are not scared,” protester Anthony Lovelace said. “We know what they are doing to us, and we are not going to back down until something happens.”

At one point the crowd grew silent and dropping to a knee to honor those killed and recognize the work that still needs to be done.

The conversation continues Tuesday with the police chief and other elected officials expected to speak to the community about their outrage and frustrations at a conference outside the police station at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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