Protests continue in downtown Augusta

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Augusta (WJBF)– Organizers from two area social justice organizations came together to continue protesting for a second week. They say there is still a lot of work to do.

Men and women gathered in downtown Augusta Saturday night to continue to speak out for justice.

The protests began after video surfaced of four Minneapolis police officers arresting George Floyd. At the forefront of the outcry is former officer Derrick Chauvin kneeling on Floyd during the arrest that took his life. All four officers now face charges, but protesters say it’s not enough.

“I’m still not toally sold that we will get what we want as far as conviction or the conviction that we want. But I do think that as far as justice is concerned that we are actually definitely going to see some changes happening,” said protester, Olivia Pontoo.

Augusta Peaceful Protests
Pictures courtesy of: Christopher Shipman – WJBF

Peter Mercil, another protester, agrees. “It’s not good enough because we can’t just say ok we got them, good job everybody and go home. Because if we do that there will be another body in another city.”

The protest began on Reynolds Street at 8th street and went down to 13th street. Demonstrators also filled Broad Street, holding their signs and chanting, before returning to their starting place.

Augusta Peaceful Protests
Pictures courtesy of: Christopher Shipman – WJBF

After the march Mayor Hardie Davis addressed the crowd saying he is proud of Augusta for standing up for what they believe in and doing so peacefully. And words came from Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones.

One man, who only identified himself by his first name, said that he believes that in America, black lives aren’t considered valuable and he wants to see that change.

“I feel like I won’t see it in my lifetime but I want to be able to see that my daughter when she grows up will be able to see it in her lifetime,” said Tevin.

Organizers of the protest say that they are ready to keep protesting until a change is made.

“Until we actually see that they are guilty and some laws and reforms are made, I don’t think that this movement will stop. I don’t think we will stop until we are heard,” said organizer Alasya Owten.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree issued a statement this week saying that the sheriff’s office will begin requiring permits to protest. Organizers say that they have all of the proper permits and that it is important to have them for safety.

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