Nationwide protest makes its way to Gulfport

Nationwide protest makes its way to Gulfport
Protesters hold signs that read various justice slogans (Image Source: WLOX News)
Protesters hold signs that read various justice slogans (Image Source: WLOX News)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Peaceful protesters gathered Saturday in Gulfport for a rally. It coincided with nationwide protests, like the one in Washington, D.C., where the families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and other unarmed black men who were killed by police protested against what they see as rampant racial injustice.

If the frustration wasn't in their faces or voices, it was in their signs. Some read "Hands up, don't shoot," while others carried a more harsh message.

The protestors even staged a "die-in" in front of police headquarters where they laid on the sidewalk for four and a half minutes to symbolize the four and a half hours Michael Brown's body lay lifeless on a Ferguson, MO, street.

"Let's just imagine Michael Brown in the street, dead. So, we ask that you please be silent and reverent," said one protest organizer.

They marched back to the federal courthouse, still chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot." All of it was peaceful and in solidarity.

"What they organized today, you don't see fires burning or police cars burning. What you see is a conversation," said Councilwoman Ella Holmes Hines.

It's a conversation Christina Brice wishes we weren't having in 2014. Brice says she was arrested more than a decade ago, and was amazed at the amount she had to pay in hospital bills after being injured by a police officer.

"It could have been me in 2001. A young man saying I can't breathe and a young man saying hands up, don't shoot. I was saying please take the handcuffs off me, because the handcuffs are hurting my hand. So, it's time for us to stand up and make a difference. These things shouldn't be happening in 2014," said Brice.

The Rev. Roy Magee, a local minister, brought his son to the rally.

"We need to get a message across that our children, my son, they deserve an opportunity, you know, to walk and be free in America like any other child," said Magee.

Speakers at the rally urged those who attended not to stop fighting for racial injustices today, but to continue to keep conversations like this one going.

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