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Silent protest in Sarasota in honor of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality

Silent protest in Sarasota.
Silent protest in Sarasota.(WWSB)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2020 at 10:04 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A protest at Bayfront Park that started with loud chants for justice and change regarding police brutality, transformed into a silent protest for ninety minutes. Organizers say silence is another way for people to have their voices heard.

“Whether we’re screaming, whether we’re standing still, we definitely have a message that we’re trying to send to the community and to bring unity together,” said Alaina Martinez with he Leaders Rights Organization.

Following the silent protest, demonstrators peacefully marched through the streets of downtown Sarasota to Payne Park, which is right across the street from the police station. For Mary Holmes and her daughter Jenna, they say they have reason to be here protesting. Jenna was adopted from Cambodia when she was seven-months old and she says she has experienced racism.

“With everything that is going on, I just have so much anger that I just feel it’s my responsibility to be here and fight," said Jenna Holmes. "To do everything I can to spread awareness, educate, have healthy debates peacefully.”

“It’s a moral imperative to be out here, it’s not a choice," said Mary Holmes. "The most recent act of police brutality, just has opened up my eyes even more to issues of racism and prejudice.”

Protesters say it was a way to honor George Floyd and others who have been victims of police brutality, especially today on the day of Floyd’s funeral. People continue to push for change.

“Reparations to African Americans is so important right now, it is due to African Americans," said Joyce Ward, Founder of Reparations Now 941. "But I also think that this is the time to give the millennials and others a voice and a platform to be able to speak out.”

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