Rioting, looting ‘not going to solve the problem’: Local groups hosting peaceful march in midst of civil unrest

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — Two groups will come together peacefully Friday to work toward their goals of improving lives of people of color, marginalized and disenfranchised communities in the Cleveland area.

The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and Black Lives Matter Lake County will hold a peaceful march in commemoration of the 1963 Million Man March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The march starts at 6:30 p.m., beginning at the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, 2829 Euclid Ave., and it will end at the Cleveland Police Department’s 3rd District building, 4501 Chester Ave.

The goal is to help build plans that address the needs of the Black community, the organizers said. They hope to engage all communities to bring a better quality of life for everyone.

Black Lives Matter Lake County was just founded earlier this summer.

The groups have held marches and protests in the time since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.

Friday’s march was planned before the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. Blake, an unarmed Black man, was shot multiple times in the back by police as he entered an SUV in Kenosha.

His three children aged three, five and eight were in the car, according to a family attorney. His father said he is paralyzed.

“We are for peaceful,” said Marsita Ferguson, founder of Black Lives Matter Lake County. “It’s an opportunity for us to make this statement. “This is a pandemic in itself, and it has to stop. Racism, police brutality, the miseducation of tour youth, our entire country in regards to what Black people have given to this country, how this country has prospered under the things that have been oppressive and have been hardships for the black culture. These things have to come to fruition. But it has to be in a way that we create progress and plans of action.”

Ferguson said while there has been violent protests in other parts of the country, “it’s not the answer to this.”

“The rioting and the looting are not going to solve the problem,” said Ferguson.

Anyone who wants to attend the march is welcome.

A release states: “As the country continues to endure civil unrest aimed at improving the lives of people of color, marginalized and disenfranchised communities we want to give insight to why so many people do not feel free and are still within the working poor. In this continued battle for equality, we have to note how slow the process has become in ensuring every person in America is afforded basic human rights. We are hoping to establish partnerships with organizations and our government leaders to implement plans of action that will finally bring all people whole.”

For more on Black Lives Matter Lake County and the event, click here.

For more on the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, click here.

The year 2020 is going to be remembered as a year of drastic change, from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to rallies and sometimes rioting in the streets protesting racial injustice. With that in mind, we here at Fox 8 News are striving to find uplifting stories of togetherness as part of our Voices of Unity project.

If you know of people or organizations working together to make our world a better place in which to live, send your ideas to tips@fox8.com. Please use the subject line “Voices of Unity.”

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