CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement mobilized people across the country in protest. Marchers continued in Champaign on Sunday afternoon.
They gathered at West Side Park and trekked through the city, but this protest took on a different meaning.
“Black trans women are being targeted at a higher rate than anyone else. They are being murdered. They are going missing, and no one’s caring,” said organizer Arnold Brown. “We are really here to bring this injustice to light. We cannot allow this injustice to go on any further.”
This was the ‘All Black lives Matter March,’ focusing on voices that they say are often silenced in the BLM narrative.
Marchers chose this day because it marks the 51st anniversary of the Stone Wall Riots. That movement was led by Black trans women in the fight for LGBTQ equality.
Volunteers on bikes and in cars helped to clear and block busy streets.
“You have to organize. You have to support, help, and just do whatever you can. The movement needs people, the movement needs money, and the movement needs life,” said volunteer Joel Armas.
Hundreds of protesters stopped at nearly a dozen intersections. Activists highlighted LGBT injustices, defined what defunding the police means, and how health disparities impact minority communities.
An ASL interpreter was there to make sure all could hear loud and clear.
“We are on the continuous fight for black lives, but there’s always that hidden voice in the…LGBTQ community,” said marcher Taylor Campbell. “We want to shine that light on them and let them know that we see them, we hear them, and all black lives matter.”