Dozens Peacefully Protest Outside Duluth City Hall; Calling to Defund Police
Despite the crowd, the number of people of color present was lacking.
DULUTH, Minn.- Voices demanding change after the death of George Floyd once again filled the grounds of Duluth City Hall Saturday, but this group of dozens organized under a slightly different version of the message than the group of thousands did two weeks before.
Chants of “Defund the Police!” took on a very literal meaning aiming at the city’s budget.
A banner reading “EMILY LARSON: LAYOFF POLICE NOT LIBRARIANS” was taped across the main door of city hall. This comes after about 25 Library Technicians were laid off after the effects of the Coronavirus caused a massive budget shortfall.
“I could see a lot of good being done by moving that budget elsewhere,” said a protester who only wished to be named as “J,” “addressing how we use our police and how we do community safety.”
“Whatever we’re considering unwelcome activity that the police deal with, we’ll see that depreciate if we spend money on poverty and healthcare,” he said.
While there weren’t many people of color (a fact noted by many present) the crowd was diverse in other ways, as cries for change came from old and young.
Justin Dean and Sophia Knight, who brought three young children along, said their kids felt the pain of George Floyd’s death, so they wanted to show them what they could do.
“I want them to see that they have some power and they can help effect change,” said Dean, as one of the kids stands waving a “Black Lives Matter” sign.
“We’re kind of privileged, y’know, we’re white and we have a lot of privilege for that,” he said, “and so it’s important to add our voices to show it’s not okay and not just take advantage of the way the system favors us.”
Despite the smaller turnout, the voices were no less loud, and neither were the calls to “Say his/her name!” of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Another protest is planned for June 19th — which is also Juneteenth, the celebration of the day when thousands of slaves were officially freed in Texas in 1865.
On that incoming protest’s Facebook page, more than 800 people are marked as “going,” and over 2,000 “interested.”