DENVER (CBS4) — Black civil rights activists organizing the peaceful protests in Denver after the death of George Floyd say they’re heartbroken and disgusted that events were “hijacked” by rioters. They say their call for reform in the justice system is being drowned out by the chaos and violence.
CBS4 spoke to Denver Public School Board Member, Tay Anderson, and with long-time civil rights leader Alvertis Simmons. Both organized events over the weekend at Civic Center Park and the Capitol.
“You cannot have a black movement with 100 white people in front of it saying “black lives matter,” and then they go and destroy the community! No no no no no! Black folks understand that that was a black man that died. And we care about whites and we want them to come, but we don’t want them to hijack this event,” Simmons said.
Anderson also said rioters hijacked peaceful protests and silenced black voices.
“It’s heart breaking, disgusting… it’s also just something that I’m furious about,” Anderson said.
He said it is the black community that suffers when protests devolve into riots.
“If you’re not going to adhere to the demands of the black community, those that are impacted, then this is not the protest for you,” Anderson said. “Now we’re the people who have to face the unintended consequences.”
Both leaders say this movement is about peace and justice and dismantling racism in America. They said they do not want people destroying the city in the name of black people.
“Bring your love and bring your heart and bring any form of humanity that you have,” Simmons urged.