How long will local protests last? Community organizers weigh in

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jun 05, 2020

NORFOLK, Va.— The death of George Floyd and others has brought an outpouring of people demanding change in Hampton Roads.

Daily protests have been organized throughout the seven cities, and more demonstrations are planned for next week.

Nick Egerton says he was a part of local protest in the wake of the officer killing of Philando Castile in 2016, and he’s back out on the streets four years later.

“My goal is to make this go around the last time we have to protest about this matter. This should not be going on for this long,” said Egerton.

He predicts demonstration will not only continue, but also increase in Hampton Roads.

“How long can racism exist? How long can discrimination exist? So, as long as that keeps going, we’re not going to stop,” said Egerton.

A new group called Freedom Fridays 757is organizing weekly marches that they say will continue “until justice is served, and the message has been given.”

“Eventually it becomes old; it becomes old. You don’t want to see everyone dying,” said group leader Michael Watson.

Watson says they are planning for peaceful protest during the day to discourage nefarious activity that could possible happen at night.

“We are here to give them an opportunity to speak peacefully and safely about what they are feeling and to get the point across to the nation that there does need to be an awareness raised for Black Lives Matter and police brutality,” said Freedom Fridays 757 organizer Hannah Cuevas.

Related: Protester sits down with Norfolk Police chief to work toward solutions

Their first event is Friday from 3-7 p.m. The march starts from 38th St. in Norfolk down Hampton Blvd. towards downtown with stops at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument on Brambleton Ave. and Church St. and the Confederate monument on Main St. According to the event page, the march will end at the ODU 41st St. parking garage.

Ultimately, Egerton says people need to see police reforms and justice served when officers break the law.

“We have to keep going. We have to make a change,” he said.

As history has shown, change takes time, and demonstrators say they are in it for the long haul.

“Get real comfortable, because we’re going to keep making it uncomfortable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” said Egerton.

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