Sit-in protest at the Capitol aims to bring change, justice

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– More than 100 people filled the capitol lawn Saturday afternoon, continuing to fight for change, equality, and an end to racism.

“I needed peace. I had been to so many protests and I seen so many and they were so negative and they were shouting and screaming at those in authority,” Protest Organizer Tamilikia Foster said.

Foster’s intention of this afternoon’s protest, was to send a positive message filled with hope and love.

“I wanted the young people to see how you’re supposed to do this. We gotta come to the table with peace and understanding and respect for one another,” Foster said.

That’s why she invited speakers, worshipers, and dancers to stand alongside her and not only uplift the community, but educate them as well.

“We’re here to take a stand in peace, in love, and in truth. We’re rallying together,” Shanell Henry, one of the protest speakers said.

Henry said she’s done a lot of self-teaching on the oppression of black people.

“It has truly stirred me, fueled me to action,” she said.

While speaking, Henry highlighted the importance of non-black allies, particularly Caucasians.

“So grateful for white allyship,” Henry said adding, “If we want to stand for truth it’s going to take all people. White people have a greater opportunity to have conversations with a white supremacist. White supremacists might not always come and talk to someone black like me, but they will go to their counterpart who is also white and it’s so important that if they stand for truth, that they nip it in the bud in those conversations that are behind the scenes.”

Emma Randall, who also spoke at the demonstration said as a white person, she feels a duty to stand up for what’s right.

“Me as a white person and spreading the message to get out in the streets and be active and to come to protests, sign petitions, donate money if you can, support politicians who are saying what we’re saying, saying what the people are saying… is the jobs of white people,” Randall said adding “I don’t think that oppressed peoples should be the ones only yelling, ‘hey listen.'”

Randall created a document listing the names and email addresses of city leaders in six different areas of Michigan, along with a pre-written letter of demands.

She along with other protest speakers feel it’s important to keep educating not just themselves but others as well… and keep protesting until change is made.

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