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Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest in Greenville on same day Civil Rights Icon John Lewis laid to rest

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:45 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -

The funeral of Congressman and Civil Rights Icon John Lewis was held Thursday morning. Lewis was a congressman for decades and a civil rights leader who worked for justice his entire life. He stood alongside Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during King’s renowned “I Have a Dream” speech and walked with him on numerous marches for freedom.

Congressman Lewis devoted the latter part of his life to the next generation, encouraging young people to pick up to torch and fight for equality. That message is being heard by many in the East, and was visible through a protest in Greenville Thursday as Congressman Lewis was laid to rest.

“Stand up for what you believe in, don’t be scared” said Jalin Gainer. Gainer was one of the few protestors that showed up in front of the Greenville Mall Thursday morning. The protestors say Thursday was the second day they came out and it won’t be their last.

Shorty after the death of George Floyd, a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest, in Grenville turned destructive, leaving store windows smashed and graffitied statues.

Kevon Gainer was among Thursday’s protestors and said he has participated in protests in the past, but he wants this one at the corner of Greenville Blvd and Arlington to be done differently. “We gone go about it in a different way this time and gone go about it a better way.”

George Floyds death sparked protests worldwide, and nearly two months after his death those protests are still occuring throughout the country an in Eastern North Carolina.

“We want to get some demands, we need justice for Breonna Taylor, and we need justice for Sean in Greenville.” said Gainer. He went on to say, “We just want to spread light and spread love. We’re not here for hatred.” But protesting to continue to bring attention to police brutality and the judicial system.

Both are issues long fought for decades ago and embraced by today’s Black Lives Matter Protestors. Much of that same message, Lewis’ own words encouraging the next generation to take on the fight for equality, were read aloud during his funeral.

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