Black Lives Matter Protests

The Lancaster Black Lives Matter Protests from Their Perspective
Image of the Black Lives Matter LogoThis year, on May 25th, George Floyd (from Minnesota) tragically died at the hands of a police officer. Since then, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been working in full force for change and reform. This has sparked protests all over the world. Many of the protests have been huge with thousands of people but there are also a ton of small, local protests as well. Here in Lancaster, there is a BLM protest every week on Wednesday. One protester named Katie, goes every week, so she gave her point of view on the protests she attends.

Besides those supporting it, one of the biggest reasons protests get so much attention is from those who disagree with them. This was originally the exact situation in Lancaster. Katie explained, “we were facing a lot of counter protestors and it became violent for a while but things have changed in the past couple weeks.” The biggest issue with situations like these, is that people misunderstand the message individuals and organizations are trying to put out. When asked exactly what goes on during the protests, Katie explained that they simply stand with their signs and chant or stand in silence. These actions are not disruptive and the main objective of them, as stated by Katie, is “to raise awareness about police brutality and the significant loss of black lives.” Even if individuals disagree with the mission, the Lancaster protesters’ goal is not to cause violence. Luckily, the local protests have turned peaceful over the past few weeks.

On a national level, the BLM protests have made a lot of changes in their favor. When asked what positives the Lancaster protests have brought, Katie stated, “There have been positive changes but it has also made a lot of people angry.” This would be referring to the counter protests that happened earlier on. A lot of individuals complain because the regularity of the protests are annoying or inconvenient. Katie said “when cities/towns protest for weeks upon weeks, people finally start paying attention and changes come into place.” As seen in past social issues, this “never give up” attitude is exactly what is needed to create change despite the “annoyance.” This is further exemplified with a statement that Katie made. She said “we are nowhere near where we want/need to be but I definitely think things are positively changing.”

The protests have certainly brought on a lot of controversy and hate. Despite this, Katie, and the BLM movement as a whole, are hopeful for the future and do not plan on stopping until they see the changes they are asking for.

By: Mary McElfresh