WARREN Ohio (WYTV) – It was loud and boisterous, but the “We Matter” protest that took place Monday evening in Warren was as peaceful as promised.
The people walked and chanted but nothing was broken. Only one person was arrested for fighting with another person.
The protest was in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being restrained by a police officer in Minneapolis.
It began at 6 p.m. at Warren’s Perkins Park with maybe 500 people, shouting things like “black lives matter” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police.”
Among those walking were Warren Mayor Doug Franklin and some of Warren’s policemen.
As they walked around Courthouse Square, the crowd grew to between 1,000 and 1,500 people in a line a quarter-mile long.
Eventually, the crowd lessened and settled into the amphitheater.
Julian Walker led the speeches by telling the crowd that as long as he can remember, he’s been a black man in America.
“But I am a father, I am a husband, I am a provider, I do work,” Walker told the crowd.
Tara Elkins sang a song and Charlene Blackwell reminded the crowd to leave in peace.
“No one here is gathered with the intent of anything torn down because it’s taken too long to build. Warren’s not that big,” Blackwell said.
The protest ended by reading the names of people the organizers felt were killed unjustly.
The protest was organized by 20-year-old Ty Powell, who was pleased with how it turned out.
“Every ethnic group, religious group, etc. was able to come here today and show that we are Warren strong … I did not expect this many people but thank you all so much,” Powell said.
“When you get a crowd this size and everybody’s voices were able to be heard, they got their message out, but more importantly, they did it in a peaceful way. I think that’s a segue on how we can talk about making systemic change tomorrow,” Franklin said.