Approximately 8000 to 10,000 individuals gathered at Legislative Plaza for the ‘I Will Breathe’ rally on May 30.
The crowd has been described as one of the largest ever in the city.
The rally was organized in protest of the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The video captured White police Officer Derek Chauvin persistently kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe. Floyd’s death has reignited deep-seated anger over police brutality and killings of African Americans across this country.
The event was organized by Rev. Venita Lewis, Civil Rights activist and visionary; KEVA Inc.; Hamid Abdulla of the Brother’s Round Table; John Smith, of John Smith Marketing; and other organizations throughout the city.
The crowd gathered at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill, where thousands chanted “I will breathe”; “No justice, no peace”; and ‘I can’t breathe.”
The event was supported by people of all backgrounds and created a beautiful sea of colors. Thousands gathered to support the need for change in the way African Americans are apprehended, sentenced, and brutally killed in the city of Nashville and across this country.
The speakers were the most powerful on one stage in the city’s recent history.
“I am in support of this peaceful march, and I support the people of Nashville having a voice in the recent killing of George Floyd,” said Nashville Mayor Cooper.
“We are damned tired of watching our people being slaughtered in the street,” said Bishop Campbell.
“We will not rest until there is change in the way this country does business as it relates to the continuous killing of our people,” said Rev. James Turner.
“We will stand together and fight together until change comes,” shouted Justin Jones of Vanderbilt University.
“We will stand together, and we will fight together,” said Sen. Brenda Gilmore.
Other speakers included Tennessee state Rep. Harold Love, state Rep. Vincent Dixie, Kwame Leo Lillard, Rev. Aaron Marable and many others.
“We will continue until there are changes in the police department in this city and around this county,” said Rev. Venita Lewis. “After 40 years of marching and fighting for change for our people, it is like starting all over again.”