DES MOINES, Iowa — With the curfews in Polk County and West Des Moines lifted, protestors were out late Thursday for a seventh night of marching to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
Like in the past couple of days, things stayed peaceful with organizers wanting to stay focused.
“We want the outcome first to be to reinforce some of the demands that were made yesterday,” said Matthew Bruce, Des Moines Black Lives Matter organizer.
Protester Nycklle Bisom said, “We’ve clearly been fighting this for hundreds of years and it shows. Our grandparents are saying ‘oh, they’re doing the same things to them that they did to us.’ We shouldn’t have to go through that. Nobody should have to go through that.”
The group of protestors started at East High School, marching more than four miles through downtown.
One stop included police headquarters, where speakers called on Chief Dana Wingert to condemn what they called “acts of violence against protestors.”
The group later passed by the Capitol, where police were ready in case things turned violent, but protesters did not stop and instead marched back to the high school.
Demonstrators say Mayor Frank Cownie’s promise the previous night to move forward on anti-racial profiling and other ordinances is a big step but their work is not done.
“We still have a lot of other things to clean up that have happened just from this moment. We have protesters that have probation clauses where they still have curfews. The people that got arrested peacefully we want to rectify that,” said Bruce. “We want to find out what the consequences are for the officers that arrested those kids in the elevator. We want to move forward and keep pressure on the felon and disenfranchise movement because obviously in Iowa there are two or three movements happening at the same time.”
Another Des Moines protest is being planned for Saturday. Students in Waukee are also holding a protest Friday afternoon at 3:00 at the South Middle School.