DES MOINES, Iowa — Union Park in Des Moines lived up to its name during a rally for change Thursday evening.
Several Central Iowa organizations put together a rally for Black equality to acknowledge justice for George Floyd. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering Floyd two days before the rally.
Many of the rally attendees believe Chauvin’s conviction is not so much a victory as it is the beginning steps towards equality and accountability.
“We have all witnessed the actual murder of a human being,” said Luana Nelson-Brown of the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change. “Is that the price we have to pay for justice?”
Event organizers Al Womble and Rob Johnson hope Thursday’s event continues the conversation for civil rights ignited by Floyd’s death.
“When you see that there are hundreds of other people surrounding you that also care about that issue, that’s what kindles hope,” Womble said.
“If folks gather here today and do nothing, we’ve all wasted our time,” Johnson added. “The most important part is that they go home and are awakened.”
Iowa state representative Ako Abdul-Samad closed out the ceremony. He reiterated the desire for change, as well as his wish for the next generation of Iowans to unite with their actions.
“We aren’t going to get a new Doctor King. We aren’t going to get a new Malcolm X,” Abdul-Samad said. We’ve got you, we’ve got these young people. Stand with them.”