OWOSSO, Mich. (WLNS)– More than a hundred people gathered in downtown Owosso for a peaceful protest at city hall on Saturday afternoon to speak up for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others killed by police.
They say they’re sending the message that all lives can’t matter until black lives matter. And even though none of those deaths happened in Owosso, organizers say it’s important to keep the conversation going nationwide.
They were joined by the Shiawassee county sheriff, who walked with protesters through a city they say has an issue addressing racism.
“It’s thoughts that people have, it’s the way they live their daily lives,” Owosso native Jamison Bebiak says. “And silence is violence. Not speaking up against something is just as bad as saying it overtly with your mouth.”
Not everyone on Main Street was on board. Just across the road, a smaller group held signs of their own discouraging protesters from coming together.
“There’s no need for it, at all,” Jerry Ballard Jr. says of the protest. “Why did they come here? Why did they pick Owosso to hold this event? There’s other places where they could do this. How about where these injustices happen all the time?”
Organizer Kyrie Higgins says people in this community need to hear the message too. She grew up in Owosso, which has a predominately white population.
“These people are the people who don’t want to change and they need to see the light that we’re bringing. These towns are important,” Higgins says. “And it might not seem important today, but down the road it’s important for the families that have been chased out of here, for the kids that are afraid to come back. It’s important for them.”