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Thousands gather for Juneteenth protest and block party

Posted at 8:35 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 23:24:20-04

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — One of the largest Juneteenth events in Utah brought thousands of people to Salt Lake City Friday.

Many of the people who attended the event at Washington Square had protested nearly every day since May 30.

“We’ve been hurt. We are tired. We are exhausted,” said volunteer organizer Daud Mumin.

The protestors have asked for police reform and social justice while also honoring the lives of people killed by police, including George Floyd.

“We are here to be together, one human race but also to acknowledge what is really going on in this world,” said Joshy Soul, a musician who performed at the event.

Organizers quickly raised thousands of dollars to put on the event marking the end of slavery in 1865.

“My heart is overjoyed. I didn’t expect any of this to happen in two weeks,” said Mumin.

This summer’s protests in Utah are part of a nationwide historical movement that already led to the passage of a bill banning knee-to-neck choke-holds in Utah and millions of dollars in funding set aside from the Salt Lake Police budget.

“We do think that we have momentum which is why it’s important that we keep going and we keep having these protests,” said Abena Bakenra.

While taking time to celebrate their successes Friday, organizers say the fight is far from over.

"The point is to show that we are tired but we are not broken. We are happy but we are not satisfied,” said Mumin.

More protests are planned for Saturday and the coming weeks.