March set for Wednesday

Published 9:30 pm Monday, June 8, 2020

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A Black Justice March will take place this Wednesday in downtown Suffolk.

The march is being organized by Bishop A.S. Hall Sr. of the Balm Church, Pastor Ben Fitzgerald of Zion Community Church, and friends and supporters from across the city.

It will begin at the Godwin Courthouse and march to the train station, Hall said on Monday. Lineup starts at 6 p.m., and marching will begin at 6:30 p.m.

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“We want to pull the city together,” Hall said on Monday. “Everyone is actually looking forward to this. Black justice is very important, and we want to make an impact on our city so these things will never happen again.

“We can’t be silent anymore. We actually have to say something.”

Many protests and marches have swept the United States in the last two weeks since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minn. Floyd, a black man, died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, including several minutes after Floyd had slipped into unconsciousness.

Hall said the city’s elected officials and law enforcement officials have been especially invited to the march, and many have replied they will be on hand to walk with the marchers.

“We want an event that everybody in the city can come to and they know about in advance,” Hall said.

Fitzgerald said it was important to him to show solidarity with other protesters across the country.

“I think it’s very important that we show solidarity with those in other parts of the United States, where the problem has shown itself to be much more pervasive,” Fitzgerald said.

He added, “This is not about black versus white; this is not about white versus black; this is about everybody against racism.”

Fitzgerald said that in his almost 40 years, he has never seen so many white people standing with people of color to speak out against injustice.

“This is bittersweet,” he said. “While we hate the need for these protests, we savor our right to address these wrongs.”