Two racial justice rallies in Roanoke emphasize turning pain into votes

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke activists are turning pain into power and anger into action. Two rallies were held on Sunday to advocate for racial justice and protesting the lack of criminal charges related to Breonna Taylor’s killing.

“A lot of people think that freedom, or black people protesting, is political,” said Roanoke County’s Tiffany Washington. “It’s not political. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to understand equality.”

Washington attended a protest on Sunday, Sept. 27, outside the Roanoke Police Department, organized by No Justice No Peace Roanoke. The protest was inspired by the fact that no charges were issued in Breonna Taylor’s killing.

“Hearing the results that there would only be an indictment for destroying a wall and endangering the lives of people who weren’t impacted was incredibly heartbreaking,” said Tatiana Durant, the lead organizer of No Justice No Peace Roanoke. “I just think it’s incredibly important for people to get involved in whatever way that they can and vote.”

Also on Sunday, a rally was hosted by the Roanoke NAACP, recognizing 26 year old Taylor.

“Today I turned 17 years old and I realized that that’s not much older than I am,” said London Paid, the Youth Council President of the Roanoke NAACP. “I couldn’t imagine feeling unsafe in my city and much less in my own home.”

Speakers honored those killed and discussed channeling that energy.

“Take the pain that we feel and that we have and turn that into power,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.

He urges everyone to make their voices heard by voting on Nov. 3.

Others in attendance included Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, Del. Sam Rasoul, and Sen. John Edwards.

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