Black Lives Matter Rally Speakers call for Dialogue, Tolerance

photo by Karen Laslo

Pastor Vince Haynie paused for a photo with Anjoli Frazier, 13, and Jaded Frazier, 11, at City Plaza July 10 at the close of a Black Lives Matter rally at City Plaza in Chico. The rally drew about 100 people as protests were underway in many American cities over police shootings in African-American communities and in particular the fatal shootings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana. Some of those attending the Chico rally wore white t-shirts that had red stains. Anjoli said she and her sister wore the shirts to represent “all the blood that has been shed by people of color.”

Many of the participants said they were opposed to gun violence in general and some noted that the Black Lives Matter message has been misunderstood. Haynie said the movement is focused on the frequency with which African-Americans are pulled over for “minor infractions” and end up getting shot. Haynie, pastor of the Rhema Word of Faith church, said he was disappointed there hadn’t been more support from local churches and church-goers for the rally. “We need to come together and talk,” Haynie said.

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