Columbus sees peaceful Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus sees peaceful Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  For the second weekend in a row, community activists in Columbus held a Black Lives Matter rally to raise awareness on the issue of police brutality across the country. 

The march began exactly where it started last week - the city's government center on 10th Street.

Last week, organizers said they were running a risk since they had not filed for a permit to peacefully demonstrate outside the Government Center. 

Still, the Columbus Police Department and the Mayor's office permitted the group to gather outside the government center. 

Earlier this week, protest organizers made sure they got the necessary permits to lead demonstrators in a march within uptown Columbus, with police supervision. 

Marquese Averett, who coordinated last week's protest, said having these rallies are a great tool to let others in the city know the issues the black community faces locally and nationally. 

"I think people are taking notice that black lives do, in fact, matter," Averett said.

"We're not saying that all lives don't matter, but we're saying you can't say all lives matter if black ones don't matter as well," he said. 

Protesters walked along most of Uptown Columbus, taking up sidewalks on Broadway, 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue. 

Last week, Averett and NAACP chapter president Tonza Thomas led some demonstrators onto the intersection of Veterans Parkway and 10th Street, where they blocked traffic for about 20 seconds.

Averett and Thomas were then arrested and charged with local violations for civil disobedience

The crowd at Saturday's rally was more diverse, as white and Hispanic citizens joined the march. Several speakers also told the crowd there are no plans to organize any future protests here in Columbus. 

Organizers did, however, stress the importance of staying politically active, registering to vote and contacting city lawmakers to demand changes in policy.

RELATED: Columbus citizens discuss protest plans at Black Lives Matter forum 

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