HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — While many celebrated Independence Day, some protesters in Harrisburg saw it as the perfect opportunity to continue the fight for equal justice.
Dozens of people took a stand against police brutality by taking a knee along Front Street Saturday morning.
It was a silent protest for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, now a symbol of solidarity, honoring George Floyd and other black men and women killed by police.
“It’s our independence day, but I think it’s also a great opportunity to show solidarity will all Americans who are suffering. We have an opportunity to make America better,” said Bruce Feldman.
Black Lives Matter isn’t just a phrase for signs and t-shirts. For organizer Floyd Stokes, it’s a call to action.
“We should not be disproportionately killed by the police officers,” Stokes said. “We should be treated fairly, equally, and so until that happens, we will peacefully protest.”
Stokes is the founder of the African American Memorial Fund, which was started to support families whose loved ones were unarmed and killed by police officers.
The fund provides educational support for children left behind and also assistance for burial and funeral expenses.
“Nobody should have to feel intimidated when they see a police car coming behind them or a police officer coming beside them,” said Destiny Brown.
From police to prisons, protesters are demanding change.
“There’s been a lot of injustice done here and we want the system to be reformed all across the board,” Brown said.
Stokes says he fought in the Army so people in this country could be free, and this July 4th, he wants to see the country move in the right direction.
“What better way to honor our first amendment right than to be here and protest some things that we’d like to improve. We love this country, but we know that there are things that we need to improve, and so that’s what we’re here to do,” Stokes said.