Black Lives Matter Protest In Downtown Athens Remains Peaceful

Jun 8, 2020

On Saturday June 6th, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement hosted a rally downtown. This rally drew upwards of 3000 demonstrators, and featured speeches by political and faith leaders, as well as musical performances. Among the speakers were activist Mokah Jasmine Johnson, and her husband and District 10 County Commission candidate for Knowa Johnson. 

Johnson’s daughter also spoke during the rally, and called the crowd to action. “We need to take over the government, and we need to take over the government, because the government isn’t here for us.” Following the peaceful demonstration in front of city hall, a number of demonstrators made their way to Broad Street, occupying the intersection in front of the memorial to dead confederate soldiers. A UGA student asked only to be identified as Camilla stated at the beginning of the second demonstration, “We will not be aggressors, we will be peaceful.” Throughout the evening the demonstrators did exactly that. Tense moments did arise as various speakers shared their perspectives, confusion about a possible curfew, and the presence of Mayor Girtz, the majority of the crowd stayed either seated or standing throughout the evening. Eventually leaders of the informal protest informed the crowd that they would be leaving by midnight. The crowd dispersed without any incident.