By: 1812Blockhouse Staff
“There is majesty in all of us,” one speaker declared.
Expressions of anger, love, frustration, and hope filled the air in Central Park in downtown Mansfield on Saturday morning as hundreds gathered for a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest which was both similar and different than events nationwide.
The event was like others in many of the emotions and feelings shared by speakers and written on placards. It was unlike some in that it was designed to be, and stayed, a peaceful expression of those sentiments.
Organizers admitted at the outset of short speeches that the idea for the protest had been a sudden one, and also that they had no previous experience in public organizing. Those leading the protest were young, at least one of whom was a recent high school graduate.
The attendees, however, represented a mixture of races and generations. Several older couples were there to show their support. Social distancing was largely maintained, and most wore masks.
There were occasional expressions of discontent with the message being shared — not from those gathered, but rather from cars and trucks that either yelled epithets or squealed their tires. At one moment, a speaker paused to let a particularly loud vehicle do its thing, and then continued as if nothing had happened. The crowd collectively chuckled.
A video posted on social media showed that down the street, in the vicinity of Richland Academy of the Arts, at least one person with an apparent weapon stood in public and, according to comments, accosted those returning to their cars.
Later the protest moved to line DIamond and Main Streets to focus attention on cars passing by, many of which honked in support, and then continued around downtown.
We were at the protest and have a few photos to share below. Click on any photo for a larger image.