NAPLES, Fla. — Hundreds gathered at the Collier County Courthouse for the We Can't Breathe rally, honoring George Floyd and fighting for justice and equality for all.
“Enough is enough...we a multicultural people can not breathe, ” said Vincent Keeys.
The president of the Collier County branch of NAACP, Vincent Keeys spoke at today’s rally, along with community organizer, Angela Cisneros, and Neal Volz, of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, in addition to local artists and poets.
All speakers urged community members to step up in the fight for change.
Protesters say they are using their voices to stand up for racial injustice.
“It does not sit well with me, the blatant disregard for black citizens lives, ” said Luz Bohorquez.
The rally was organized by the Hippie Circle and the SWFL Showing Up for Racial Justice; they are setting a plan of action for moving forward.
“It is great to say we shall overcome, but what do we do next?” said Curt Sheard.
Local organizations at the rally encouraged people to register to vote and hold elected officials accountable.
“You demand reform, you demand accountability, transparency...and its starting right now, ” said Curt Sheard.
The protesters echoed the demands of the NAACP:
- Increased oversight of policing via Civilian Review boards
- Expansion of pre-trial arrest programs
- Defunding bloated police budgets in favor of investment in the public defender's office
- An end to the 287g program
- Changes to the police union contract that affords bad cops protection.
“Let’s level the playing field a little, by demanding the relocation of funds from our sheriff’s office to the public defender’s office,” said Angela Cisneros.
Protesters say the push for equality has proved time and time again to be a matter of life or death.
“This isn’t something that can be let go, this isn’t a trend this isn’t a hashtag, this isn’t something that is going to go away this is people’s lives we’re talking about, ” said Luz Bohorquez.