Casper Students Say They March for Racial Justice
Nearly several dozen young protesters in Casper on Tuesday afternoon expressed their opposition to police brutality in response to the killing of a black man in Minneapolis a week ago.
The protesters were from Kelly Walsh and Natrona County high schools, participant Rebekah Schoen said.
The event, which has been going on for several days, was organized by recent Kelly Walsh graduate Dauvi Thompson-Rodriguez, Schoen said.
These protesters are different from Casper Youth for Change, which is planning a peaceful protest downtown on Wednesday, and the organizers of a vigil downtown at 6 p.m. Friday.
She carried a sign that on one side said "no justice, no peace" and on the other side said "say their names" with the name of George Floyd, killed after a Minneapolis Police Officer knelt onto his neck until he suffocated on Memorial Day. Names of other people of color who allegedly died as a result of police violence also were listed.
"The point of today's march was to show people that black lives do matter and to make our community a little bit uncomfortable with what they've decided is the truth," Schoen said.
"With all of the unjustice that is in Casper, but in Wyoming and in America, it's time that everyone spoke up so that we finally can create change," she said.
In response to the criticism of the phrase "black lives matter" that "all lives matter," Schoen said it would be as if everyone in your family got dinner except you, and you asked "where's my dinner," and dad said "everyone needs dinner." True, but you specifically don't have dinner, and for that reason you should be getting dinner, she said.
"While 'all lives do matter,' that's not the point," Schoen said. "The point is that black lives specifically need to be saved."
Organizer Thompson-Rodriguez said he started doing the peaceful protest downtown by himself, then posted on social media to his friends that he would like them to join him at 1 p.m. daily.
He grew up in north Casper and often was the only black child in a classroom, and people looked at him with disgust or out of pity, he said. "I don't want your pity. I'm just as human as you."
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