Peaceful protests held in Sparta

SEEKING JUSTICE–A large group of Black Lives Matter protesters are pictured walking down North Market Street in Sparta last Saturday evening.

Over the past few weeks protests have been held across the country, as well as the world, in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Last Friday and Saturday, June 5-6, two protests were held locally in Sparta.

The main point of the protests is to recognize the Black Lives Matter movement, which tries to bring to light the racism and inequality that black people continue to face, as well as call for reform due to police brutality and excessive use of force.

The death of Floyd, a black man, on May 25 has served as a catalyst for the movement. This is because a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes while he was handcuffed and lying on the street, ultimately causing his death. While Floyd’s death is not the only case like this, it was one of the more recent ones and caught national attention when video footage of the incident was shared.

In some major cities, protests turned violent with protestors and police facing off, and rioting and looting occurring. However many more have been peaceful in nature. The goal for both protest marches in Sparta was to bring people together peacefully and to ask for justice.

Prior to the protest marches, on Thursday, June 4, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office had to release a statement regarding an article that had been spreading on social media claiming that supposed members of Antifa had the intent to come to the Sparta area to destroy farm property and livestock. (The main source of this rumor was a discredited conspiracy theorist website.)

For more on these protests, please see this week’s print edition.