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Community, faith leaders gather for peaceful demonstration and prayer in downtown Macon

Central Georgians gathered at Rosa Parks Square with signs.

MACON, Ga. — Macon community members and faith leaders gathered for a moment of prayer and peaceful demonstration in downtown Macon on Sunday.

At noon, more than 100 Central Georgians gathered at Rosa Parks Square across the city government center equipped with signs.

It was all in response to the recent murders of three unarmed black Americans — George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia. 

"And others we may not be aware of," Walter L. Glover of Zion Hill Baptist Church said. "When I hear him saying, 'I can't breathe.' How long will this be? How many black men and women will have to lose their lives? How long will it take until racial profiling and undervaluing of black lives by police finally ends?"

Folks united in prayer to "show solidarity against injustice that affects us all." Faith leaders prayed for healthcare workers, the community, and law enforcement. 

"We cry within our community," Reverend Marvin Colbert at Bethel AME Church said in a news release.

Glover says he feels a mixture of emotions.

"Bitter, angry, heartbroken, disgusted and saddened by another brother snatched from among us at the hand of a white policeman," he said.

He says the country is in the middle of fighting two pandemics, "COVID-19 and racism-20."

Tyler Jenkins was in the crowd today and he says a lot of times good people are silent, so he was glad to see so many people come out to show solidarity.

"It’s almost like every other weekend, every other month, there is always another brother getting killed by the police. We just wanted to make sure our voices were heard. We just want to make sure people know that we are united," Jenkins said.

He says black lives always matter. 

"Not just on Saturdays when we're running the ball for the Georgia Bulldogs," he said.

Jenkins came with his friend, Derwin Backles, who says he knows watching all of this unfold can be stressful and hurtful.

"It's time to come together and say, 'Hey, this is wrong.' We can’t support this anymore. We need some kind of change," Backles said.

Jackson Dillard showed his support as well. He says being an ally is about more than just making signs.

"This kind of collective action that’s going on now is the next step and we can hopefully organize and mobilize and keep pushing it forward," Dillard said.

Janet Harvey drove from Bonaire to be a part of the prayer.

"It hurts. It’s heartbreaking," she said. "I want to show support to our local community and I wanted to unite with one blood with the people and stand together for justice."

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, people were encouraged to observe social distancing and wear masks. 

"We stand today in solidarity for justice to prevail," Glover said.


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