Activists gather in Warsaw to peacefully protest

NOW: Activists gather in Warsaw to peacefully protest

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WARSAW, Ind.-- Dozens of local Warsaw demonstrators gathered in the lawn outside of the Kosciusko county courthouse Thursday,  holding signs and chanting in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Community.

The organizer of the protest, Maria Medina said that the whole purpose of these protests is to make sure that their voices are heard.

“We definitely need to continue to have these conversations, we need to let our town know that this isn’t just something that we’re going to ignore,” Medina said.

With their voices, demonstrators hope to see change in their city.

“I’ve definitely have heard from people of all races and ethnicities, not just the black and brown community that they don’t trust their law enforcement and that’s a big problem,” Medina said.

“We need to ensure that we take preventative actions so that this doesn’t happen in our town.”

Demonstrator Michael Beard said that he is proud with how his city has come together peacefully for the last four protests in Warsaw to share their experiences and stories.

“Martin Luther King said riots are the place of people unheard, and we need to let people be heard. Even Warsaw has, you know it has a history much like most of Indiana has a history of racism, and it’s good to raise awareness for everybody and let these people share their stories, let them be heard,” Beard said.

However, change doesn’t just happen through community voices, and Beard said that it has to happen through city authority voices as well, and that Warsaw authorities have done a great job opening discussions with community members.

“Mayor Thallemer and Sheriff Dukes have been doing a wonderful job. They’ve opened up communication with this group and the African American and Latino communities. I’d like to see that everywhere,” Beard said.

Demonstrators said that they don’t plan on standing down anytime soon, and they hope that this year will bring the change that our country needs.

“First things first, we need to make America and the whole world aware that black lives do matter, we’re not saying that all lives don’t matter, but all lives cannot matter until black lives are not being appreciated and respected,” Medina said.

“I think 2020, despite all of the stuff going on that this is going to be the year that we start seeing some change.”

On Friday, community members are gathering again in Warsaw, but this time instead of protesting, they plan to celebrate Juneteenth and hold a vigil for George Floyd at the Kosciusko County Courthouse.

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