RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s 5,000 Man March is set for Saturday, June 13. The purpose of the march is “to be a firm advocate against all the racism, discrimination and hate.”
It’s more than just a protest, march or rally for Tavares Floyd.
“It’s really about hope and being hopeful. I hope tomorrow is an opportunity for us to come together and honor the life of Perry, but most of the world now knows as George,” Floyd said.
Tavares Floyd’s cousin, George Floyd, is the man whose death ignited the spark for change around the world.
“What I’m asking people to do at the march tomorrow is really come together and to really let your voices be heard,” Floyd said.
Saturday, thousands of people are expected to march the streets of what was once the Capitol of the Confederacy.
This is an effort to join in the outcry across the country in what’s being called ‘Virginia’s 5,000 Man March.’
The march is being organized by Triston Harris, who hosted a '1,000 Man March’ four years ago.
The march is set to start at the JEB Stuart Monument at 1 p.m. and the crowd will march a five-mile loop down Broad Street and Monument Avenue to end at the Lee Monument.
“As we march and protest and lift our voices, I think that’s good, that’s great and that’s fine; but how do we move forward from here,” Floyd said.
Floyd is set to address the crowd once they arrive at the Lee Monument.
“I hope that I can say something that will impact people to know that if you want to change, then you have to be real change,” Floyd said.
It’s been a tough few weeks for Tavares and the Floyd family but he says they’ve gotten through it from the support of strangers.
“It is overwhelming and it is absolutely amazing,” Floyd said. “I think leaning on each other and recognizing that in his death came about so much life."
All-day Friday, demonstrators were present at the Lee monument continuing protest which began over two weeks ago. Many of the demonstrators say they plan on attending the 5-mile march others who say they won’t be attending came from miles away to show their respect for the movement.
“Tomorrow is a very critical event and I encourage all to come down and be apart of this moment in history as we fight for equal justice,” said Reverend Dr. Linwood T. Blizzard said. “I’m grateful to be here today, but even more importantly I’m grateful that my children get to share this moment with us and the to understand the work that my wife and I do and my family does to fight for access and justice to make the world more just.”
“Since George’s death was all captured on video There’s a lot of people who before didn’t feel like this was their fight and now they see that this is happening all the time and are realizing it could happen to anybody,” Gavin Lowrie said.
Tara Mattox with the RVA Black Movement spent the afternoon delivering meals and bottled water to the people out protesting in the area. She adds that she plans on providing meals during Saturday’s march to ensure that people have the energy to keep fighting.
Some people the monument showed up
“It felt like I needed to do something so I said you know what, why not start here," Mattox said. “This isn’t a black versus white thing it’s right versus wrong and I think if we keep that focus and we keep fighting for that then this will keep it going I think that, we just have to be the change that we want to see."
Organizers have been working with Richmond police and city leaders to ensure this will be a peaceful yet powerful showing of solidarity.
For, volunteer opportunities, donations or more information, email VA5000ManMarch@gmail.com.
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