Here are some of the voices from the protests, which have included many people who say they’ve never protested before:
“In every city, there’s a George Floyd,” said Michael Sampson II, 30, of Jacksonville, Fla.
“It could be my father, my brother, my uncle, my cousin, my friend,” saidVictoria Sloan, 27, of Brooklyn. “It makes me angry.”
“I’m speaking for everybody, all my kinfolk, all my brothers and sisters who’ve gotten beaten up by police,” said Cory Thomas, 40, who said the police beat him when he was a teenager in Brooklyn. “I don’t condone the violence,” or the looting, he said, “but at the end of the day, no 14-year-old should be beat up by police.”
“There are people out there who are very negative,” D.J. Elliott, 30, a gym manager in Harlem said, in frustration about a small number of late-arriving, violent protesters. “And this is their golden opportunity.”
“If we don’t fight for change we’re not going to get it,” Douglas Golliday, a 65-year-old resident of a Minneapolis suburb, told The Star Tribune while waiting to be taken to jail along with his 44-year-old son, Robert, and other protesters.
“I took six rubber bullets, but do you know what didn’t happen to me?” Elizabeth Ferris, a 36-year-old Georgetown University student, told The Washington Post. “No one kneeled on my neck.”
Ashley Gary of Minneapolis said: “We’ve been through Jamar Clark, we’ve been through Philando Castile, and there was no justice whatsoever. We’re tired of it, we are very tired. My son, he’s 16 and six feet tall, and I don’t want him to be taken as somebody bad because he’s a bigger black man.”
“I came out peacefully to show my support, and the police are aiming right at me,” Mariana Solaris, a 20-year-old from San Bernardino, Calif., told The Los Angeles Times, after the police fired foam pellets at her. “I saw this on the news earlier tonight,” she said, “and I thought, ‘No way is it really like that out there with the police.’ So I came out to see. And, yeah, it’s really like that.”
(Originally published on NYTimes)