PARK CITY, Utah — Against the backdrop of destructive demonstrations and often violent riots, both in Utah and across the country, Park City High School students raised their voices in a peaceful protest on Monday.
A statement released by youth organizers described the demonstration as a “peaceful protest.” They emphasized “no looting, rioting/violence, graffiti, etc.”
The Youth Against Police Brutality event was held at Park City High School and attracted approximately one hundred residents, community leaders, and speakers.
One of the youth organizers, Lance Rothchild, introduced half a dozen speakers while offering a special tribute to George Floyd, the black man who died in police custody.
“In solidarity with George Floyd and all the victims of police brutality, we will kneel for 8 minutes 46 seconds, the amount of time George Floyd’s neck was kneeled on until he died,” said Rothchild.
The crowd then knelt on Dozier Field, a collective effort to pay respect to George Floyd and other victims of police brutality.
“Watching all the black, men, women and boys and girls are lynched before our eyes, we stand on the edge of the pit offering nothing but our thoughts and our prayers and hope that someday the world will change. We must use our privilege to force real change,” said Rothchild.
Utah’s first black female legislator attended peaceful protest
Representative Sandra Hollins of Utah’s District 23 spoke at the protest. She is the first black woman to serve in Utah’s legislature.
“I immediately said yes, I want to support them, I want to support their social justice effort and move this conversation forward,” said Representative Hollins.
She remarked the event was calm and that she admired the people who were honoring George Floyd. “They are listening, and they are learning. This is a battle we have been fighting for a long time,” said Hollins.
“These young people give me hope, I don’t plan on being in my position the rest of my life, and I am always looking on ‘who can pass this baton to.’ I think hearing these young people and talking to them, I think we have a great future,” Hollins said.
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