Young People Are Taking Action: The Freedom March
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Young People Are Taking Action: The Freedom March

On June 2nd of 2020, in O'Fallon, Missouri, a peaceful protest lead by young leaders occurred that would ignite a long-lasting effect on the youth of O'Fallon and the surrounding Saint Louis City.

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Young People Are Taking Action: The Freedom March

George Floyd was murdered by a police officer which then ignited a resurgence of protest in the United of States of America and around the world to call for justice against police brutality.

Here are peoples input on how they felt during the peaceful protest that took place in O'Fallon, Missouri on June 2nd:

B.W.: I remember posting about peaceful protesting on Snapchat and Ryan Staples who organized the march slid up and said we have something big planned. I would have never imagined that Ryan would have brought together that many people for a march. I was hesitant at first because people were threatening us and looters were talking about coming out. I didn't want to get harmed by anything but I decided to go. I was truly honored and blessed to be able to participate in this freedom march. I've seen what racism can do to someone and I want to have kids in the future and I don't want them to go through this at all. My favorite moment from the freedom march will be when all of my friends and I were at the front of the march and we stopped and turned around and saw a crowd of people. My heart was overwhelmed by the mixed crowd there were white, black, little kids, elderly people, gay people. It was a beautiful mix of people who came out to support the black lives matter movement. I will always be grateful to Ryan as a friend for putting this together because he has changed so many lives just by doing this.

C.F.: The experience there was incredible, thousands gathered to peacefully protest police violence & equality/justice for all. We worked & walked alongside police officers to ensure safety & cooperation, which was a strong display of unity in this fight. Everyone walking came from different ethnicities, religions, age groups, & socioeconomic backgrounds, it was really powerful to see so many people come together. Because of how successful it was, they're planning a second one! I will post on my story when the word is official, but it's gonna be bigger than the first!! Super excited.

A.M.: I went to the O'Fallon protest and I was extremely glad I did even if I got some backlash on social media! I found out about it through Snapchat like most and brought my mom, sister, brother, and two friends. We were a little worried just because of the news and the thought of teargas and rubber bullets, but luckily it was nothing like that. It was so well organized! Both the protesters and the police worked together to ensure that it would be peaceful and organized. I have been to protests before and I have to say this was the best!!! Everyone there was there for good reasons and it was very reassuring especially when I returned home to find on the news the horrors that happened at other protests around the world. I'm very grateful for the people who put this protest on!

L.G.: I went! I thought it was a great experience. it was so nice to see everyone come together to fight against the injustice that plagued the black community. I felt united and connected to all the protestors. There was a couple of people so chanted "all lives matter" at a few points, which was disheartening, but the protestors ignored them.

M.M.: It made me feel... hopeful. clearly racism won't be gone overnight, and sadly not any time soon but my generation makes me super proud. and I feel insanely blessed to have friends that are determined for change. they seriously will change the world one day.

A.H.: When I was in the O'Fallon protest I felt like the black community was making a change, and our voices were being heard.what made it even more special was the police officers and the diversity within the march to help, that alone should say something. We as black people are not trying to silence any other race we just want to be heard and make a difference. We want to be treated with respect and get the same opportunities because of WHO we are rather than the color of our skin. Black lives matter is a movement that gives us the chance to be heard so that we can make a change before another black girl or boy with a bright future is taken away from us too early. It's hard to see history repeat itself. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are just some of the people that were taken away from us too soon. We want them to have justice as they will NEVER be forgotten. This is also about protecting our future as well because Black men & women are dying and being beaten by police officers that swear that they are here to protect us. It would be doing the black community an injustice to not speak on this tragedy. When it was time to express how we feel we were blessed in so many ways to have that platform. With so many supporters it made the O'Fallon march so beautiful which goes to show that there is hope for change and even though those changes may take a long time, there is a change coming and it is not just one or two people that are willing to stand up and fight for justice. There is a whole diverse community willing to fight for change & this was just the 1st of many steps towards equality.

T.W.: For me personally, I loved it and the unity of everyone who came together. I do feel like if St.Charles county police were there it wouldn't have gone so smooth like it did with O'Fallon PD. I didn't feel that I got my voice heard as much tho but I most def feel like I'm starting.

K.C.: The protest went beautifully on Monday night. Everything was peaceful. Everyone was fighting for a change. To see all people from different communities & backgrounds come out from around St.Charles & O'Fallon to protest positively for a change, was incredible to see. I am so so grateful and honor I got to be apart of this movement & walk hand in hand, fighting for black lives.

E.B.: When I walked out of the parking lot of Fortzumwalt West the feeling of awe consumed me. I have no words to describe looking back and seeing how many people were marching behind us. It was extremely special bc for a world that is always divided our community was more together than ever and it was astounding to see. I have always heard stories from my friends that are African Americans but to actually SEE an instance happen (George Floyd) it really makes you think about how people treat each other and how awful it is to have to go through it on a regular basis. The world needs to stay united to fight racism bc we are all human.

G.G.: I was nervous going into it, to be honest, it was the first protest I've ever been to but I'm so glad I went! As we starting marching and chanting I had a moment where I felt super emotional about everything that's going on in the world, but it just made me chant louder! I'm happy it stayed peaceful and I was proud of our community for keeping it that way. There were people of all different races marching and it gave me hope for the future even though there is ways to go. I'm going to keep protesting, signing petitions, and donating as much I can and will continue to encourage others to do the same!

After all the positive feedback from the peaceful protesters, I asked the inspirational leader, Ryan Staples, what do you want people to do after the protest, what is next? The answer was clear and straight to the point. Staples said, "People need to go vote, vote for people you believe in, vote for those who care about the black community and will enact change".

Now you know what you need to do!

Here are resources to become acquainted with social justice causes.

https://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/goVoteMissouri/register

https://www.naacp.org/

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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