Children will march this Saturday (7/18) to show Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement is calling all children and teens for a special rally at Orlando City Hall this coming Saturday, July 18th.

“You know how that song goes ‘the children are our future’. They really are,” said Lawanna Gelzer, a leader of The Movement Coalition, which is organizing the event.

Birmingham children march

“Just last week,” Gelzer said, “I participated in a march organized by Cypress Creek High School students and I was so impressed to hear them express their concerns for justice and fairness for all people – especially black lives. They are a lot better informed than what adults give them credit for. These young people don’t like what they see and they’re demanding change. We’re giving them a platform to speak and be heard.”

Orlando’s Children’s March for Justice on Saturday was inspired by the Birmingham Children’s Crusade in 1963 when black students left their schools and flooded the streets where many were attacked by police and jailed. Their efforts publicly shamed local leaders and resulted in the desegregation of public facilities in that Alabama city.

“Saturday’s event is planned to be family-friendly and safe,” said Gelzer who got city permits for the event. She added that during recent civil rights marches local police have cooperated controlling traffic and providing security for marchers.

The event will spotlight speeches by teen activists. Parents are encouraged to attend with their children. The event is open to children of all races and ages.

Protests calling for an end to police brutality and systemic racism have been ongoing for more than a month in Orlando and around the world since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.

Everyone participating in Saturday’s event is asked to wear a mask. Keeping with the theme of the event, participants are asked to dress in black.

Organizers are also asking participants to bring canned goods and other non-perishable food that can be distributed to help feed families that are struggling during the ongoing pandemic.

Event organizers will provide refreshments to keep participants hydrated during the event that will begin (rain or shine) at 10 a.m. in the plaza in front of Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave.

The Movement Coalition includes: The Coalition of 100 Black Women of Central Florida, National Action Network Central Florida Chapter, Let Your Voice Be Heard, Peaceful Orlando, The Arc of Justice, Orlando Freedom Fighters, Equity Council, Orlando Youth in Action Movement and Mask Up by Lawanna.


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