National Guard lays down shields in peaceful protest held at Tennessee capitol

Around the South

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —- On Monday, hundreds joined forces for a peaceful protest at the Tennessee state capitol, voicing their anger with the death of George Floyd.

Organizer and refugee, Kayo Beshir, told News 2 that their goal is to achieve change in peaceful way.

He referenced the riots that took place in Nashville on Saturday night, as a distraction to the peaceful message that was shared during the “I will Breathe” rally earlier on the same day.

During Monday’s demonstration, the crowd sang hymnals, chanted and called for action against what they called unjust policing.

Some shared their Christian faith, asking for others of faith to support and advocate for change.

“We recognize that Jesus’ death was both a sacrifice and a murder, and when you identify it as a murder we have a responsibility to be out here demanding justice for acts of cruelty and acts of violence,” said Russell Pointer Jr. a pastor.

Activist and Reverend Justin Jones said the turmoil won’t end until racist institutions are dismantled and new legislation protects against unjust policing.

At one point during the event people walked in groups of two up to the state capitol. Some state representatives held up the barrier tape allowing protesters to pass through.

Once at the top of the capitol, protestors asked the Tennessee National Guard to drop their shields and they did.

The crowd exploded in cheers and someone said through a megaphone, “We want to thank our National Guard for being on the right side of history.”

Jones called their actions, a divine occurrence, “it was a movement of faith for them to put down their swords and shields, because we came up here singing and we came up here prayerful. We are here to bring peace and change.”

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