BLM Protest

Summerville High School students Faith Hudson, 16 (left) and Lily Knight, 15, hold signs at a Black Lives Matter protst in downtown Sonora Wednesday.

Another peaceful protest is planned to be held Sunday at Courthouse Square in downtown Sonora to further the growing movement against systemic racism in the United States.

The event is scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday and is being promoted by a pair of local women who say they want to keep the issue at the forefront as similar demonstrations continue to take place throughout the country.

“As a mother of children who are biracial and a husband who is mixed as well, I want to speak up so my children don’t have to be victims of the inequalities of our system,” said Holly Clark, who has four children ages 10 months to nine years old.

Clark, 26, of Jamestown, said they are hoping for a low-key event that won’t be met with the same level of hype and fear as a June 3 demonstration at the park.

The previous demonstration was held in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd, whose police custody death on May 25 in Minneapolis sparked nationwide protests over the past couple of weeks.

News coverage of early protests in the days after Floyd’s death focused on some that were marred by rioters and looters, fueling speculation that turned out to be unfounded about the same happening in Sonora.

Local law enforcement officials said they spent days leading up to the previous protest chasing down tips about potential disruptors coming to town in buses and caravans, all of which were not true.

Viktorea Martinez, of Columbia, is helping to promote Sunday’s demonstration with Clark and said she is a lifelong peace activist who participated in protests during the late 1960s and early 1970s for civil rights and ending the Vietnam War.

Martinez said she attended the demonstration on June 3 and two others held last weekend, both of which also went over peacefully. She believes the continued protests are having a positive impact on the national conversation about race and inequality in the U.S.

“I’m a big believer you can’t do one and out,” she said. “You have to keep it going and keep it at the forefront.”

 

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 768-5175.