On a chilly Saturday afternoon in State College, among busy downtown traffic, Salvation Army bell-ringers and even a wedding photo shoot, a group of about twenty people solemnly stood at the gates of Allen Street.
The group gathered for a protest in the wake of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths. This was the latest of several rallies in State College, some in support of law enforcement but most, like Saturday’s, to protest police brutality and institutionalized racism.
Protestors were mostly silent, holding up signs with phrases that have been ubiquitous with the movement – “Black Lives Matter” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
One of the event’s organizers, Laura Shadel explained why they were gathered.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going, and I think this march was a great way to do it because it’s actually in solidarity with a massive march happening now in New York City, and other cities and colleges around the nation. So, we really wanted to keep pressing these issues and kind of trying to start a huge dialogue,” she said.
The group also attended the pro-law enforcement rally on Friday at Old Main, to help foster conversations on these events. Shadel said they hope these protests would continue to increase the attention to their cause.