Girl power would be an understatement.
Six teenagers organized and led a 10,000-person protest in Nashville against racism and police brutality Thursday — the largest in recent history, according to The Tennessean.
Jade Fuller, Nya Collins, Zee Thomas, Kennedy Green, Emma Rose Smith and Mikayla Smith — ages 14 to 16 — met on social media, Collins told Nashville’s WTVF news station.
“We all met on Twitter,” Collins said. “And that’s how easy it is to do something like this.”
The young women quickly bonded over their shared outrage over the death of George Floyd — the Black man who died last week in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
“That’s what really opened people’s eyes to what’s been going on in our country,” Fuller told local news channel WSMV of the disturbing footage that’s led to worldwide protests.
Soon after meeting online, the young women began FaceTiming one another and decided to form the coalition Girls 4 Change, which is backed by Black Lives Matter Nashville. Their rally soon followed.
On Thursday, people at the teens’ protest held signs that said, “Black lives matter,” “Justice for George Floyd,” and “End white silence,” according to WTVF. Teens and organizers read poems and gave emotional speeches. At one point, everyone at the march laid down in the street to remember the death of Floyd.
“As teens, we are tired of waking up and seeing another innocent person being slain in broad daylight,” Thomas said in a speech during the event, according to Nashville Scene. “As teens, we are desensitized to death because we see videos of black people being killed in broad daylight circulating on social media platforms. As teens, we feel like we cannot make a difference in this world, but we must.”
The teenagers were adamant about not allowing unrest to distract from their cause Thursday — and asked attendees to ignore disturbances and to not provoke police, The Tennessean reported. The police also did not incite anything as well — although Nashville Scene does note that officers attempted to break up the march at one point by falsely claiming there was a tornado warning for the area.
Yet, despite this one dubious account, news outlets reported that the five-hour protest was peaceful and occurred without incident.
The teens now hope that their demonstration inspires others their age to do the same.
“It’s your brothers and sisters. It’s people in your community, people you know who are feeling oppressed. Their moms and dads are getting killed because of their skin color, because people are afraid of them,” Emma Rose Smith told WSMV, adding:
“We can all come together as a community to stop what’s happening and that the racism ends in our country.”
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