March for Justice

Protestors are led in a chant Friday evening during the March for Justice in Baker Park.

The shouts echoed off the front of the Baker Park bandshell, calling out a grim roll call of victims or police and racial violence.

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Trayvon Martin.

There were shouts of “No justice, no peace,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Protesters brave heavy rain, thunderstorm to March for Justice in Frederick on Friday
Live updates: March for Justice event concludes as thousands gathered in Baker Park

The overflowing crowd at the wet, muddy bandshell echoed back the names from a speaker on the stage, part of an emotional final stage of a protest and march that had moved from Mullinix Park through downtown Frederick.

The Frederick March for Justice Friday was a movement against police brutality, inspired by the death of Floyd while in the custody of police in Minneapolis on May 25. Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with second degree murder.

“We are not here today to reciprocate violence that has been put against my people for 400, 500 years,” said Dajah Gee, one of the speakers. “We’re not here to be violent. We’re here to demand. We’re not asking no more. I am not asking for you to respect the life of black men no more. I’m telling you you’re going to.”

Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, who spoke in support of the Black Lives Matter movement this week, addressed the crowd as well, telling them he’s standing with them.

BLM Protest March

Thousands filled the streets of downtown Frederick Friday night and marched to Baker Park during the Frederick March of Justice where a program was held. The crowd overflowed the bandshell and park area and into the street.

“I’m tired of being tired, but not as tired as those who have waited 400 years for a rebalancing of the scales of a system designed to work against them,” Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor told the crowd. “I hear you, I see you and black lives matter.”

For more than two hours, the crowd shouted slogans and waived signs, many printed on poster board or even cardboard.

The crowd sat and listened attentively through periodic rain, which didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm.

A series of thunderstorms earlier Friday afternoon, with heavy rain, thunder and lightning, had put the event in question.

But the protests organizers were determined to go forward if at all possible.

The wet weather didn’t keep the crowd from gathering at the bandshell, continuing to file in as the initial speakers took the stage.

The event also featured music from hip-hop artists like Stitch Early.

March for Justice

Protestors take part in the March for Justice Friday at the Baker Park Bandshell.

Isaiah Spencer, an event organizer, talked to the crowd about the challenges black men and women face in every day situations.

“Ahmaud Arbery can’t even go for a run in his neighborhood without being hunted for his life. Trayvon Martin can’t even go to the store without being hunted for looking suspicious because he had a hood on. Every killer of these victims knew what they were doing.”

Spencer other organizers were often overcome by emotions during their speeches.

“They say ‘hands up, don’t shoot,’ But that doesn’t work, ever,” said Gabrael Moore, another speaker and an organizer of the event. “It never works. And unarmed I may be, but that doesn’t matter, I’m always judged by the color of my skin. Always. And I’m judged not only by the color of my skin, but how I talk, how I walk, and what I wear.”

While the event had drawn more than 7,000 people saying they planned to attend, the massive turnout caught organizer Alijah Gee off-guard.

“I was not expecting all these people to come out,” she said at the rally’s conclusion.

Spencer said the result was exactly what he and fellow organizers hoped for. He sees growth in the Black Lives Matter movement from when it started roughly seven years since the movement was founded. More and more people are showing up.

March for Justice

Frederick recording artist Stitch Early performs to close the March for Justice Friday in Frederick.

Dajah Gee said in her speech that she had never seen so many people of other races stepping up to support that movement.

It took until after Spencer spoke for him to sit back and think about the event’s success. But it doesn’t stop at protests. Spencer wants to see actionable changes.

“I want the change to be for police to stop killing us,” Spencer said. “Stop falsely accusing us. We just want to be equal. We all have a voice and we want to be heard.”

Akiyyah Billups, another organizer and emcee for the event, said the group wanted to dispel narratives about the black community with this protest, in particular she wants to change the narrative that every time black groups get together and protest, something has “pop off,” or turn destructive.

They delivered that Friday.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(36) comments

Hollowed Ground

Has anyone noticed how silent those Give-Me-Liberty-Or-Give-Me-Death Republican protesters have been? They claim to fight excessive government authority, but have uttered not a peep about Trump's suggestion to bring in the military and shoot BLM people. So depending on them for your civil rights, as they claim to be defending, is probably not too wise after all. It can lead to death. Yours, not theirs. Much better to employ the ACLU.

Hollowed Ground

It wasn't but a few weeks ago Trump claimed he would get over 95% of the African American vote this Fall, was it not? So either all these black people in the street all over the country and even the world have converted and are hiding red Maga hats, guns, chewing tobacco, nooses, swastikas and Trump banners under their coat, or Mr. Trump is a big fat stupid liar. We know Alice Marie Johnson will vote for him, but will any other black person after all this? Other than Ben Carson and Clarence Thomas of course.

Hero of Canton

Almost every police department cited by these protest movements are run by local executive branches led by Democrats. So, logic would suggest these protestors wouldn't support the political party leading the organizations that are literally killing them.

Hollowed Ground

Actually they are run by the most corrupt union chiefs imaginable, with near zero accountability to anyone. Laws ensure that. A good movement to defund these crooked police departments and start over is taking off. And that should include our own Thug Jenkins.

DeplorableLocalVeteran

It’s encouraging to see Trump’s mentor Putin advocating for black Americans.

Hollowed Ground

I guess there are some things Trump and Putin do not see eye to eye on after all.

riccicc

i wonder what this is all about considering the DC mayor just got criticized for not paying attention to black issues concerning BLM but rather coddling to white liberal demands dealing with the black lives matter movement. whats up with that??

awteam2000

It would make more sense just to say black people scare me 😳. I they threaten me. I’m afraid of them. Rather then come up with a lame excuse. “We all prejudge”. I doubt anyone’s thinking you’re going to change your pre-judgments, but I hope the younger generations aren’t Indoctrinated in your pre-judgments.

awteam2000

You guys are funny. The Operative word is now pre-judge. Just say your are racist.why do you need to go through these exercises? If you judge someone based on a collective, like race you are racist, if you judge someone based on their sex you are sexist. No, no, no just because you do it doesn’t mean everyone else does it, wake up

bosco

So, awt, if a black person prejudges a white person simply because they are white the black person is a racist?

I think you are part of the problem by focusing on the color, but then that's what the liberals have been teaching you for decades. You should try volunteering in an inner city school to see where the real issues lie.

[ninja]

riccicc

frederick city schools are becoming like an inner city school like setting. maybe some of these guys could volunteer there. but...i don't know if some of them could pass the background check. fingerprints, photos, the works.

Beaux

A black person judging a white person due to their skin color is not a racist, they are a bigot. Racism is about power and superiority over another due to color. White people have never been considered inferior simply due to their skin color.

riccicc

so when I hear a liberal/progressive say all white people are the cause of everything that is bad in america and has judge them "based on a collective," as you put it, then that liberal/progressive is a racist? imagine that!

mrnatural1

Everyone prejudges others -- it's human nature. People form opinions of others -- including members of their own race, gender, and age group -- based on appearances.

There is a critical distinction though -- anyone can shave their face, get a haircut, and wear nicer clothes, but they cannot change the color of their skin.

Most people have seen the videos of two guys hailing a cab -- the first is a clean-cut black man in a suit and tie, holding a briefcase; and the second a white guy in jeans and a t-shirt. The cabbies would drive right past the black guy (who looked like a banker or an attorney) and pick up the white guy.

awteam2000

Prejudgments (prejudice ) is based on social biases, bigotry, racism, self advancement developed over years if not centuries. If you don’t call for a stop to Ignorance it won’t happen.Do you prejudge all “white people” all Americans, all Christians, all people, all poor, all rich, less educated, more educated, sexual gender, women, men, your wife, yourself? If you don’t see it stand to the side, Life is passing you bye 👋.

riccicc

yep, and i remember seeing something similar to that and the cab driver was a black guy himself

mrnatural1

From the BLM website -- sounds reasonable:

"#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives."

corgikid

BLM is a very dangerous organization. They are violent, anti-white, anti-American, and they absolutely hate Jews. Their manifesto contains demands that can never be met, and never will. Read it for yourself.

greenblood

If you see eradicate white supremacy as anti white, then you are part of the problem. I have read their site. I have read their ten point manafesto and you are wrong.

riccicc

white supremacy is just a phrase used as a tool by the leftist to say there are too many whites in a given area such as a neighborhood or work place. it means there should be diversity there so the whites will always be outnumbered and therefore no longer have any say in anything. it's a clever strategy and some white liberals have fallen for it. just ask those in wisconsin and minnesota. some of them have been conditioned to actually apologize for being born white. smh

bosco

Beto was one of them who apologized. "White Privilege" was a phrase coined by the left and BLM to further the divide for their own political purposes.[ninja]

timothygaydos

See a protest to make sure you are getting fair treatment and to keep pressure so bad police/law enforcement are dealt with all good - when you interject the conversation with Michael Brown or even Trayvon Martin - well two criminals and don't argue with the facts. Michael Brown was found guilty after his death of going after the officer's gun and was also caught on video assaulting a store clerk... Trayvon once his school record and court records were made public... folks knew of his criminal behavior - plus remember the Obama Administration tried very hard to get both the officer in St. Louis/Ferguson and the individual indicted on Federal charges and the FBI and DoJ could not do it because there was no wrong doing... so protest and keep it peaceful and crime free.

Comment deleted.
awteam2000

Bosco, come on now! Why would anyone wearing a MAGA hat go to a protest supporting “Black Lives Matter”? Would they be expect a Trump Rally? Or, “Walk through Compton in LA at night an approach a group of gangsta looking young men and tell me you don't prejudge them. Would you be prejudging the group as ‘gangsta’? Have you ever been to Compton? At night? And why? Aren’t you just assuming any groups of blacks (one or more) as criminals? Couldn’t you just assume (prejudge) a group of black people in a predominantly black community or any other community as simply a group of people walking? Aren’t you just afraid of ‘black‘ people?

Do you find yourself, yeah, you know, when a group of blacks (one or more) are approaching you ‘you tense up 😬, ‘thinking what am I gonna do?’ 🤔, “ look straight 👀 look them in the eyes or should I look down?, no look straight.” “ “and I got to stop my legs from shaking, stand tall, keep walking.” They won’t know I’m afraid of them.” hoping “they won’t see me”. Has that ever gone through your mind? Doesn’t that get old? Being afraid of others based on their color? They know you are afraid of them 😱. You can’t hide it.

HurtingAngel

Why aren't these same protesters in the inner cities where black on black crime is being done everyday? I agree with getting rid of forms of excessive force however there is a double standard here. Protests need to be done in the violent cities of America where black on black crime is killing thousands.

awteam2000

Hunter, Isn’t that what the police are for? In our culture, keeping those encaged in poverty under control? Keeping them contained, out of your neighborhood. Will you be joining the protesters in Baltimore over “ black on black“ genocide? Will you be attending? If you do participate, heads up - don’t say, ‘Shot or Lynch’ the “N -word” that wouldn’t be an appropriate chant like in the good old days. Especially, in a group that has never seen “Make America Great Again” only seen the bottom, only seen as less worthy.

Hey, did you hear Route 70, off Route 85 was shut down for close to 30 minutes over a protest over another black man murdered by the police . People get murdered everyday , Black people kill black people every day. Why protest? That counterfeit $20 cost 100’s of millions. Are you up for a protest or less noise, keep it down, it not my problem?

riccicc

police?? aren't the police suppose to be defunded now? isn't that the current thought and movement in minnesota with jeremiah ellison, keith ellison's son?? how's the police do something if they are no longer there??

greenblood

They protest here because they live here. The problem isn't only in big cities.

sevenstones1000

And yet, Fredneck will happily re-elect Chuckie til the end of time.

xJacky1

So, Mayor O’Connor is it time to defund and abolish the Frederick City Police Force?

mgoose806

Time to defund Frederick City Government all together. Seriously, would anybody miss them?

xJacky1

Micheal Brown and Trayvon Martin.

bosco

Looks to me like people of all colors were there. So happy to see them coming together for a common cause. Now, people, go out there and live it every day.[ninja]

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