Peaceful protest, march held in downtown Decatur

A protest to call attention to the death of George Floyd, police brutalities and racism was held in downtown Decatur June 3. In addition to gathering and protesting in Decatur Square, protestors marched along McDonough Street, Howard Avenue, Commerce Drive, Ponce de Leon Avenue and Church Street while chanting and displaying signs.

The event was organized by Chalèah Head, a student at Georgia State University.

The protest started at Decatur Square in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse, where organizers and speakers such as the Atlanta chapter of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party and Clare Schexnyder of the Anti-Racist Coalition for Decatur spoke to the protestors and read the names of dozens of Black people who have been killed by police officers.

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“I was pleased. It was totally off the cuff, and Decatur showed up,” Schexnyder said. “Protesting is the easy part. We have a lot of hard work to turn our city in the right direction with policy, mission and anti-racism training for our white citizens.”

Members of the Decatur Police Department and DeKalb County Police Department patrolled the event without riot gear.

A call for DeKalb County and the city of Decatur to remove a Confederate monument located near the DeKalb County courthouse was also made.

The crowd chanted “I can’t breathe,” and “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” in addition to other chants during their walk and while in Decatur Square.

Protest organizers also set up a voter registration table near Decatur Square. Many of the restaurants located on Decatur Square temporarily shut down and gave water and snacks to some protesters.

“Get out and vote, thank you all for coming,” Head said. “We’re going to continue this at Centennial Park and continue to fight for justice.”

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