CEDAR PARK, Texas - A small but determined group gathered together Monday in Cedar Park along Discovery Boulevard. The turnout was not a disappointment, but an encouraging sign according to Karenanne Cayton.
“This turnout, I didn’t know, I actually expected less people, because I didn’t know this many people agreed with Black Lives Matter, but I’m happy with the outcome,” said Cayton.
Cayton was among those who spoke while the group was at Quest Village Park. The event was an effort to bring the message of change out of urban centers where most Black Lives Matter protests have initially taken place.
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“I think when we discuss racism in America we tend to overlook the racism that happens in suburbia, here in Leander and here in Cedar Park there is blatant and malicious racism that happens to our black and brown communities and often goes overlooked,” said Bri Branscomb.
Most of those at the protest were young, but at one point, an older woman stopped her car in the middle of the street and got out to show her support, which brought a loud cheer. Several children were also brought to the protests by their parents. Lauren Gallaher said that for her daughter, taking a stand has already become familiar ground.
“I took her to the women’s march downtown two years ago that felt very safe,” said Gallaher.
Cedar Park traditionally has been a conservative stronghold but is becoming more diverse and progressive. On Monday, Natomi Blair, who brought her three sons, noticed more honks of support from vehicles that passed by than heckling.
“I think it does make a difference I think we’re at a place where we’re people are at least trying to get educated about what’s going on and having the different gatherings is bringing a little bit of awareness it’s not necessarily racism that we need to talk about its institutions that maybe have been not as progressive as we thought,” said Blair.
Cedar Park police were in the area, but watched from a distance. Organizers eventually brought the protest to the police. The group marched from the park and up Discovery Boulevard to police headquarters.
Once there, they demanded real law enforcement reform, a call for blind justice that requires opening eyes and minds.