Protesters march in Houghton over police brutality and death of George Floyd
"No justice. No peace," "Black Lives Matter," and "Say his name, George Floyd" were the rallying cries of hundreds of protesters of all ages and races who marched across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge Wednesday in Houghton, making their voices heard against police brutality.
"We're all out here today to protest the killing of George Floyd and too support the Black Lives Matter movement. Obviously this is a peaceful protest and we just want to gather and support this very important civil rights movement," said Patrick Myers, a protester.
The protest began on the parking deck in Houghton at 1 p.m. The organizers moved to set up the protest after realizing that there was not already one planned in the area.
"I just wanted to bring it to our community because voices deserve to be heard, and I don't want any spotlight to be on me about it. I want everyone to get the spotlight and everyone's voices to be heard equally," said Gabrielle Mukavetz, one of the organizers of the protest.
The protest stayed peaceful the entire time, with organizers working with local police departments to ensure safety and civility.
"Houghton's a small community, and we know at least some of the organizers. We told them that we would certainly support their peaceful march and that we would make sure to take care of traffic control, as we would with any peaceful protest," said Houghton Police Chief John Donnelly.
"The police gave us flowers today as a sort of peace offering, and they really wanted to show that they were here to support us and to protect us and everything," added Mukavetz.
The large showing of protesters was a great surprise for the organizers of the march.
"People were actually really supportive of it, and I was kind of surprised because our area isn't as open with views I feel like. It's kind of closed minded in a way, and I wanted to just bring it out and show that it's not scary to have your own opinion and to fight against world issues," said Mukavetz.