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Peaceful protesters in BV hope to help transcend racism, promote equality

Photos by Skylar Brooke. For More Click Here.

From the June 10, 2020 issue of
The Journal

By Richard Harris
   For three days last week a group of 15 to 20 people gathered in downtown Buena Vista to promote equality and express concern over racial profiling and police brutality.
   The event was spurred by concern over the recent video that showed George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, dying in Minneapolis after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by the knee of a white police officer as three fellow officers stood by. He had been detained on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.

   A statement issued by the Minneapolis Police said Floyd physically resisted an officer and the District Attorney's report said he refused to get in the police car. However, surveillance video showed Floyd not offering any resistance while he was on the ground. A bystander's video also showed Floyd complaining of pain and not being able to breathe.
   The local protest was peaceful and inclusive and bore no resemblance to what was happening in many large cities across the country, which not only had protesters, but also dealt with rioting, looting, and violence.
   The local event was the idea of Buena Vista's Gary Kelley, 38, who asked his fellow employees of Transcending Enterprises (based in Ellaville with employees from Buena Vista and surrounding towns) if they would be interested in participating. They did, so they ran the idea by the company's owner, John "Skwirl" Goodall, who also voiced his support.
   "It seemed like the issue wasn't getting a lot of attention here, so we thought we could come together and help the concern spread in the small towns around here and maybe help get some change," said Kelley. "We also agreed we wanted to do it in a non-threatening way."
   So, the company took three days off of work to hold signs on the edge of "The Square" for passersby to read. Messages on the signs included: Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, Stop the Separation, I Can't Breathe, No More Violence, We Are One People, End Police Brutality, Justice For All, and Term Limits for All Elected.
   Goodall was ... The rest of the story.