DENVER (CBS4) – After nearly two weeks of protests in downtown Denver, on Sunday students held marches of their own. A group of students from across Denver Public Schools held a march and then later a group of East High School students held another demonstration.

(credit: Kaliya Carrillo)

The rallies were organized to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter effort as well as to call for police accountability across the country.

“It’s 2020, there should be equality and there isn’t,” said Ashleigh Hunniford, a student at East High School. “And you’ve got to get out there and protest and fight for what you believe in.”

Hunniford was part of the East High School march, which began at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in City Park, proceeded down Colfax Avenue and ended at Civic Center Park.

(credit: CBS)

That’s where CBS4’s Makenzie O’Keefe met up with Kaliya Carrillo, the organizer of the march and soon-to-be junior at East High School. Carrillo said she wanted to bring more voices into the conversation.

“Young voices are the most important right now,” she explained. “I think, we are the next generation coming up, so we need to show our support and our leadership.”

Carrillo said seeing fellow students show up in numbers was inspiring. Copter4 captured the student-led marches from above, showing the large crowd stretching out for blocks.

(credit: CBS)

“It makes me feel empowered, honestly. It’s really hard,” Carrillo said. “It’s a dark time right now so I feel like being able to see people who look like me and who are the same age as me, is really nice.”
Not only students, but family, faculty and DPS alumni marched as well, gathering to rally together. It was a movement led by young voices, that they said brought them hope.

“We’re the next generation of voters, the next generation of politicians,” Hunniford said.

“Because I’m black, I feel like it hits close to home,” Carrillo explained. “Because if we don’t do anything now, then nothing is going to ever change. So it’s really important to do something.”

Makenzie O'Keefe