Published: June 1, 2020
By: Katherine Manuel, LSU Manship School News Service
LAFAYETTE–“I can’t breathe.” “Black lives matter.” “No justice, no peace.” “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
Chants such as these were heard along Johnston St. and University Ave. in Lafayette Sunday as protesters lined the sidewalks and spoke out against the death of George Floyd, who died Monday in Minneapolis after a police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck even though Floyd could not breathe.
The demonstration was one of several in Louisiana over the weekend as civil rights activists here joined in with the protests sweeping across the country. Protesters also took to the streets in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Monroe.
Crowds gathered at Girard Hall at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where members of the host organizations spoke. Then they stood on the sidewalks before marching to the Lafayette Police Station at the end of University Ave.
Mark Mallory, a UL student, helped organize the protest and spoke to the crowd in front of the hall. Mallory said he was there in solidarity with anyone fighting for justice around the world.
“We must be ready to lose the world as we know it and survive together into the new one,” he said.
The Lafayette protest was organized through a Facebook group hosted by local organizations like the NAACP.
NAACP Lafayette President Marja Broussard also addressed the crowd. She offered her condolences to the families of those killed by police violence and said she stands with those in Minneapolis.
“The brutal and horrible murders of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Ahmad Arbery have shaken the United States of America,” Broussard said. “Words cannot accurately describe what that feels like.”
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