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Peaceful protest was a good start – it needs to continue

Bravo, to those who came together Sunday to express support not just for a distant movement that is affecting cities in other parts of the country, but affects US — all of us, here in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Bravo to those who created a time and place for peaceful expression, for healing, for understanding and for growth.

“You know, I just came as me, to spread that message of love, all love here,” said Dennis Mwagbe, 24, of Marietta, who stepped up to the microphone as approximately 1,000 people gathered in East Muskingum Park. “I wrote that speech this morning in about two hours, but it’s something that’s been on my heart and in my head for weeks.”

Imagine the power in finally being able to say what has needed to be said — not just for your own wellbeing, but for the betterment of the community.

From the predominantly caucasian crowd, to the 14 people of color who stood up to speak, to the police officers who joined in prayer, to the organizers who found a way to keep the good going, those who made Sunday’s event so special deserve more than applause. They deserve for us to take notice. To learn the lesson they were trying to teach … to be better.

In the end, the event raised awareness, yes, but also nearly $800 in donations to “Movement for Black Lives,” and approximately $200 in remaining food given to the Gospel Mission Food Pantry. It is a small start.

Please, Marietta and Mid-Ohio Valley, do not let it be the end.

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