UM Black Student Union Holds Protest at Missoula Courthouse
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police Officer and the protests and rioting that followed, the University of Montana Black Student Union held a protest Friday morning on the lawn of the Missoula County Courthouse.
A good sized crowd carrying signs joined in with a young man named Elijah who sang the Bill Withers classic ‘Lean on Me’.
He was followed by former UM student Chris Young-Greer who addressed the crowd.
“We are here to say his name,” she said. “His name is George Floyd, and he was murdered in the street as he begged for his life and said that he could not breathe. We are here to effect change. We are asking you as allies, friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, community leaders and decent human beings to join us in making change happen.”
She then asked the question on the minds of the gathered crowd.
“So what can you do?” she asked. “You can confront discriminatory comments and actions as you witness them. We are tired of empty platitudes from non BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) people and communities that are expressing sorrow for the events that have transpired and continue to point BIPOC people without any real action on your part. Action is necessary.”
Young-Greer continued her message.
“Your actions in conjunction with ours are what can will truly bring about change,” she said. “Actively confront discrimination and racism. Demand justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves. Support an action that justice should be and can be equal for all.”
The police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd was arrested on Friday morning in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin was charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. The city had suffered for three days with riots and protests over Floyd’s death. Three other officers were also fired by the police department for their actions.