Major media overlooked a demonstration in the midst of riots that took place in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD. There was no throwing of rocks or looting, and no lighting of fires in the street. But there was a group of people of many different ages, races, and religions working together toward a common goal. I was struck by the beauty of a group of people marching and chanting together in unison. Their message of the “March to Justice” was clear: All Lives Matter.
In the face of one of the largest civil rights conflicts of our time, people came together to work for a better future. I was working as a production assistant for BET News, and got the privilege to be a fly on the wall in the midst of one of the most beautiful and peaceful demonstrations of the past year.
Generations joined together and marched. They marched for peace and justice. On April 13, the NYC Justice League began their “March to Justice,” a 250 mile journey that ended in our Nation’s’ Capital. They carried with them a “Justice Package.” This package contained three pieces of legislation that would:
- End racial profiling
- Demilitarize the police forces
- Invest in our communities
The First Amendment grants us the right to assemble peacefully, and it was inspiring to see people in this day and age utilizing this right. Whether or not you fully support the cause, I think it is crucial to understand that today people want to see change and are actively working towards it.
Millennials are beginning to find their long lost voices that have been stifled sitting behind computer desks and mobile phones. We live in a time when it is easy to sit and post our opinion, but we rarely take action ourselves. Instead of ranting about change in the comfort of their own homes, these people got up, went out into the world, and spoke up for change. The journey was not easy and they were called names and harassed along the road. But they also found support and encouragement, and most importantly they found solace in one another. The NYC Justice League believes that change needs to happen, that we as the American people still have a voice, and that when many voices come together in unison they can form a powerful message.
When the group made it to the West Lawn of the Capitol building there was a euphoric feeling in the crowd. After the longest walk of their lives, they had made it. Congressmen and Women greeted them with motivational speeches. Family members of the ones who had lost their lives due to police brutality, as well as special guest Danny Glover, actor and humanitarian spoke words of appreciation and admiration.
In a day and age where many of us have become complacent in our lives I find it refreshing to see people standing up and speaking out for what they believe in, using their voices to bring about change and start a revolution of peace and justice. I walk away from this remembering one message: All Lives Matter!