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Thursday, August 13, 2020

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Houston college students, others react to local George Floyd protests


For over a week, thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Houston to protest against racial injustice after the death of George Floyd. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

For over a week, thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Houston to protest against racial injustice after the death of George Floyd. | Mikol Kindle Jr./The Cougar

Houstonians marched from Discovery Green and through downtown to end up at City Hall on May 29 and Tuesday to protest the killing of George Floyd and to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Thousands of individuals and activist groups such as Black Lives Matter Houston and PSR Houston Racial Justice Committee convened at 2 p.m. for the march for justice. I

t was hosted by Ashton P. Woods, Indivisible Houston, Standing Up for Racial Justice Houston, and the aforementioned activist groups. According to the protest’s facebook page, the protest represented people demanding accountability and justice for black lives in Houston and across the nation. 

Maurice Taylor Jr., a Houston local and attendee of the protest, said he felt heavily affected by Floyd’s death because despite continued struggles the black community faces, nothing has changed.

“I feel impacted greatly by (Floyd’s) death because I have been vocally active about incidents like this,” Taylor said. “The Trayvon Martin story really stayed with me since I was a kid, and now that I’m an adult and nothing has changed, I feel like I need to do more to get involved because this shouldn’t be happening.”

Mario Salcedo, an incoming junior at Texas Southern University and protester, said the protest embodied his personal beliefs and allowed him to stand with those seeking justice. 

“As a person of color, going to the protest meant standing up for what I believe in and standing up for justice for not only George Floyd but all persons that have suffered at the injustice of police brutality,” Salcedo said.

Brandy Lewis, Chicago native and now Houston local, said attending the protest showed her that as a society everyone must unite.

“As a community we need to stick together, stand together, stop tearing each other down,” Lewis said. “We’re the same color; it’s not about competition. We can take over the world but we have to stick together to do so.”

According to ABC 13, an estimated 60,000 people marched again from Discovery Green to city hall on Tuesday afternoon with Floyd’s family. 

Nadia Rasheed, a rising engineering technology junior at the and attendee of the protest, said the protest represented the African American community coming together to fight against the injustices they face with the support of individuals from all races.

“This protest was more than just coming together, it was unification and support of all communities to help the black community voice their pain and the experience they have dealt with for their entire lives,” Rasheed said. “This protest was heartfelt and you could feel the unity in the community for our black brothers and sisters.”

Jacob Macias, an incoming sophomore at UH, said that it is imperative that everyone comes together to demand change.

“Coming from a Hispanic household and family, it’s extremely important to me that I fight for what I think is right,” Macias said. “I find it extremely important that we unify as a people and show support to the black community so we can start demanding change in police reforms, corruption in government, and most importantly, equality for every single person in the country.”

More protests and marches are expected to follow. Floyd’s funeral will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday in Houston. A public viewing from noon to 6 p.m. Monday at The Fountain of Praise church at 13950 Hillcroft Ave. will be held before Floyd’s funeral.

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