Atlanta, GA - On June 12, 2020, members of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and the local chapter of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Inc. came together to organize a peaceful protest. Members of all colors and ages gathered first on the steps of Central United Methodist Church then marched through several streets to end up outside of First United Methodist Church. It marked the first protest the North Georgia Conference had after demonstrations broke out across the nation over the past two weeks following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer.
Before the march began, members of the community, churches, and organizations had an opportunity to speak to the crowd. One woman shared her family story about how her uncle was brutally murdered by a white mob and her family has yet to receive justice.
As they were marching, they stopped at several key places like the Richard Russell building. Richard Russell was a longtime congressman and the building was named after him in 1972. Richard Russell had a deep loathing of black equality and his disdain for civil rights ran deeper. Of all, he fought the hardest for the repression of black Americans and the preservation of Jim Crow segregation. Why is the building named after him if systematic racism doesn’t exist?
The question that we asked was, Why are you here? At the end of the march, the Bishop of the North Georgia Conference had an opportunity to speak to the people. In her speech, she said, “There is nothing more dangerous than the use of the Bible to justify sin. There is nothing more dangerous than to attribute prejudice to God. And there is nothing more dangerous than to come face-to-face with our creator and have to ask why did you use the Bible to justify segregation.” We are here to let the world know that it’s time to change and we are here to make that change happen.
After talking with some of the protesters these are the following requests or actions that we should do next: