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Remembering George Floyd: Church, school groups march on Saturday in peaceful protests across Triangle

As family gathered for a memorial service for George Floyd in Hoke County, church and school groups planned peaceful protests across the Triangle.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The nation continued to react Saturday to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer over a week after protests and riots began in most major cities across the country.

Thousands, including family members, attended a memorial service for Floyd in Raeford, located in Hoke County.

In places like Raleigh, Clayton, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill, church and school groups among others organized and carried out peaceful demonstrations as they advocated for racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Raleigh groups march to State Capitol

In Raleigh, a group led by African-American ministers gathered in the late afternoon for a march to the State Capitol building.

Teachers from across the state made the same journey, the culmination of a relay coordinated by local track and cross country coaches to mark the civil rights marches of the late 1960s. Teachers and coaches ran a relay over 40 miles – from Oxford to Raleigh – tracing the path of a 1970 protest that followed the murder of war veteran Henry Marrow and the acquittal of his alleged killers.

Later Saturday night, a group in downtown Raleigh began to march, setting up and speaking on Salisbury Street, surrounding a Confederate monument on the State Capitol grounds.

The group then held a moment of silence that lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds, in honor of the length of time George Floyd was pinned to the ground when he was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Social justice rally draws 100s to Chapel Hill
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Youth Advocates cosponsored a social justice rally in Chapel Hill Saturday afternoon to honor the lives lost to police violence. The crowd filled the Peace and Justice Plaza on Franklin Street to hear from speakers for hours in the heat.

The participants were a diverse group of people of different ages. There were also multiple sets of parents there with their children.

"Black lives matter, it's as simple as that," said Erica Robertson of her reasoning for attending. "We're still being killed during a pandemic, so we have to all show up."

Johnston student-athletes rally for racial justice

At the same time that George Floyd's family gathers for a private memorial service in Hoke County, athletes from Clayton High School rallied for racial justice at the school and marched to the town square.
Clayton police escorted the group, and District Court Judge Addie Rawls and attorney Antoan Whidbee were among the speakers.

Family groups gather to #EndWhiteSilence in Cary

Members of several churches led their congregations in a peaceful protest gathering in downtown Cary on Saturday.

Holding signs that included the messages "Black Lives Matter" and "End White Silence," dozens of people blocked the street briefly outside the Cary police station.

Police officers handed out water to those gathered and kept traffic from interfering with the protest.

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht joined the crowd.

The Cary Area Ministerial Alliance invited churches to "stand in front of their buildings on the church lawn with signs declaring their lament over the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and articulating their support for the larger movement against systemic racism and police brutality."

Two teenage girls organize peaceful rally in downtown Durham

Emotions ran high in downtown Durham Saturday night at a peaceful rally to protest police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

Around 300 people gathered at the CCB Plaza in downtown Durham at a rally organized by Beautiful Green and Morgan Johnson.

“It lets me know people of all diversities can come and support the black lives matter movement," Johnson said. "There's people of all backgrounds that will come and stand with us and march with us. We know that there’s people here to support us."

After speeches and the rally, protesters marched around the block. Organizers say they plan to have another peaceful protest in the coming weeks to keep the momentum going.

The rally remained calm throughout, and no law enforcement was at the event.

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