Black Lives Matter protests continue

Community unites at youth-oriented demonstration

A+group+of+young+protesters+protest+racial+injustice+and+police+brutality+at+a+family-friendly+protest+June+25.+Protesters+gathered+from+5-6%3A30+p.m.+at+the+France+Ave.+bridge+over+Hwy+62.

Talia Lissauer

A group of young protesters protest racial injustice and police brutality at a family-friendly protest June 25. Protesters gathered from 5-6:30 p.m. at the France Ave. bridge over Hwy 62.

Maggie Klaers and Molly Schochet

One month after the death of George Floyd, Park students continue to participate in Black Lives Matter protests. Rising junior Ezra Hudson said he came to the June 25 protest to continue to work toward change. 

“It’s important for us to get out here and push the movement forward. The only way we’re going to make changes is if we are out here making the change,” Hudson said. “We’re the future. We’re next up so we’ve got to be out here protesting just as hard as anybody else.”

Abby Schrader, one of the organizers of the Facebook group “Family Friendly Peaceful Protests for Racial Justice in Summer 2020”, helped two Golden Valley teens organize the gathering. This group has worked to create a protesting environment that is conducive to and safe for youth involvement.

“Myself and my co-leader (Bekah Noble) have been doing family-friendly protests throughout the suburbs since the murder of George Floyd,” Schrader said. “We have had residents and families and individuals and teens lead these in different locations, and tonight was led by two teens.”

Schrader said she and Noble saw the need for family-friendly protests while they attended other events. At the group’s events, organizers try to keep in mind ways to make it more kid-friendly and safe, such as having snacks and sidewalk chalk.

“(There was) a lot of sidewalk chalk, bubbles to help kids because it’s a long time for some kids to stand, so you want to make sure there’s stuff for everyone to do. I felt like today there was a lot more young families that I’ve seen in the past,” Schader said. 

It’s important for us to get out here and push the movement forward. The only way we’re going to make changes is if we are out here making the change.”

— Ezra Hudson

In addition to attending various protests, Hudson has also organized his own peaceful gatherings with an emphasis on safety, much like the June 25 protest. 

“(It is) important because you got to have the youth out here too,” Hudson said. “It can get real dangerous for younger kids if it’s on Lake Street where it’s burning and stuff, so we’ve got to have safer protests for the younger people.”

According to rising junior Ada Turman, it is key to create awareness of racial injustice. 

“It’s important to educate the youth of America about causes like this because we shouldn’t say silent. Silence is violence,” Turman said. “This is just a really important movement to support.”

Schrader said one of the group’s goals is to create a space where families can have safe and productive conversations about race.

“We just want families to be able to talk to the kids about race. We want to make sure that youth understands that we can disrupt systemic racism,” Schrader said. “(Youth) are going to be our voters, our policymakers. And so we need to make sure that however you choose to do that, you know your voice matters and is being heard.”