New group to focus education after demonstrations

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (SPRINGFIELD, Ill.)– As demonstrators in Springfield wrap up a week full of events near the capitol in the wake of the death of George Floyd, one newly formed group doesn’t want the conversation to end with protest. They are already looking at ways to make sure it does not.

Longtime activist John Keating and six others from the area have created E.A.T. or Education and Action together in hopes of keeping the conversation surrounding injustice at the forefront.

“Some local activists, they weren’t activists before last week. It’s really kind of cool how we’ve gotten folks involved. It’s kind of organically grown out of people who have been out here at the capitol every night,” said Keating.

“What’s been happening down here has been conversation, education and we realized there is a lot of people who are angry and ready to be out and rally but they don’t necessarily know how to take the next step. So that’s how we came about, trying to help folks in the community taking that next step to turn passion into action,” he said.

Keating said the group hopes to start by bringing events supporting the movement to smaller cities and towns.

“These small towns are where a lot of the issues are harbored at and born from and it’s not because the people in these towns are bad, it’s because the people don’t have interaction or exposure to different people and cultures. That’s why we see melting pots in big cities have less issues with hate.”

E.A.T. is helping organize a demonstration in New Berlin this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. They are also helping with an event Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in Pawnee.

Their next move in Springfield is to hold a teach in to help people learn their rights and how to interact with police.

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