Hundreds gather in Ruston for peaceful protest in response to George Floyd's death
Hundreds gathered in Ruston on Thursday to march and protest against racial injustice in response to George Floyd's death.
The march began on Louisiana Tech's campus and ended at city hall. It was organized by Louisiana Tech student Skylar Dean, along with help from her roommates. Dean said she believes it's everyone's responsibility to speak up against racial injustice.
"If you think institutional racism isn't a problem, I would like you to ask your inner self, would you be comfortable being treated the way your fellow black Americans are in America," she said.
Chants of "Say his name! George Floyd!", "No justice, no peace!", and "Black lives matter!" filled the streets as protestors marched against racial injustice.
"It's just going to lead to a downward spiral, and that's not what this country needs. We need to be united, and that can't happen if everyone isn't being treated equally," ULM student Katelyn Trisler.
"From the time the black community was brought to this country, you know, four-hundred-years ago forcibly, you know, we went from slavery, we went into civil rights, Jim Crow, and now systematic oppression. Basically we just want the schemes and everything that's going on because of the color of our skin to stop, you know what I'm saying?" said Louisiana Tech student Michael Lovett. "Basically we have a country that's not built for us, like my sign says. We built it, but it wasn't built for us, you know what I'm saying, and once we all understand that, we get that through people's hearts, people's minds, you know what I'm saying, then, I feel like, we can really make a change."
Grambling State University President Rick Gallot was also in attendance.
"Until the community as a whole will embrace the value of all lives, then we really won't advance the way that we need to as a community," he said.
Gallot said he believed the turnout showed a community that is willing to work together and support each other.
The protest started at noon, and a handful or protestors remained outside of city hall until at least 6 in the afternoon.