Juneteenth marked by peaceful protests demanding equality

Events in Orlando, Apopka call for change

Juneteenth marked by peaceful protests demanding equality
Juneteenth marked by peaceful protests demanding equality

Many people spent the holiday protesting across Central Florida. While Juneteenth represents the end of slavery for African Americans, some people say, there's still a long way to go when it comes to equality.

Along John Young Parkway in Orlando, protesters were quiet and let their signs do the talking. A different name written on each one.

“What we wanted to show is how many names, how many people have died from police brutality or from some type of modern day lynching,” said Tiki Byrrd.

“I think it’s time for people, who are not people of color, to unpack their privilege and lend their voice to the atrocities that are going on in this world,” said Andrew Wittkowski, of Brevard County.

While hundreds lined the sidewalks, others spent their time registering to vote.

In Apopka, a march was organized by 16-year-old Johnny Simmons.

"Juneteenth means to me that we are free. As an African American man that resides in Apopka, it's hard to feel free when you see what's going on," said Simmons.

Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson also joined the march, saying he’s glad to see young people getting involved in a peaceful way on Juneteenth.

“It’s refreshing when you do it the right way. Come out and protest and talk about the things you like to see changed,” Nelson said.

Law enforcement officers assisted during both events and said there were zero incidents.

More events are planned that go into the evening.

A march that began at Lake Eola was attended by thousands as they walked though the streets of downtown Orlando.

The Museum of African American History & Culture in Parramore is hosting a celebration for 2020 high school graduates. The event begins at 7 p.m.

About the Author: