Collaborating with the city of Pine Bluff, the Community Social Justice Awareness Advocates, led by activist Kymara Seals, brought out dozens of protestors seeking justice and change in the world.

George Floyd. Sandra Bland. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. Botham Jean. Trayvon Martin. Monroe Isadore. Eugene Ellison. Bradley Blackshire. Kezell Hobbs.

Those were the names screamed out during an emotional Solidarity Rally held on the steps of Pine Bluff City Hall on Thursday evening.

Collaborating with the city of Pine Bluff, the Community Social Justice Awareness Advocates, led by activist Kymara Seals, brought out dozens of protestors seeking justice and change in the world.

Even through social distancing and remaining in your vehicles during the rally, a strong presence of oneness could be felt through the pain, hurt and sorrow of those who were in attendance uniting in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

It’s so sad now because of what we saw,” said Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers. “The idea that somebody, a police officer, that’s suppose to protect and serve us , puts his knee on the neck of George Floyd and lets it go down on him while he’s handcuffed on the ground.

Flowers couldn’t comprehend why someone who have so much hate in their heart stating the though of it made her numb.

“So much hate just because we’re black. I’m glad I’m black,” said emotional Flowers.

Shouts of “me too” could be heard in the crowd as horns blew in agreement.

“I don’t hate white people but I damn sure don’t understand why the hell they hate me,” continued Flowers during her outcry for justice. “Why do they hate black people?”

That question may never be answered but Seals response is to stand against injustices, evil, corruption and support the brothers and sisters fighting for justice and peace.

“We are speaking out today, letting our voices be heard all across Pine Bluff, all across Jefferson County, all across Arkansas, the nation and internationally that we will not stand for corruption,” said Seals. “We will not stand for injustices, we will not stand for police brutality against our brothers and sisters in black communities. Enough is enough. We are done dying.”

Seals directed her message to corrupt police departments thankful that Pine Bluff doesn’t have those problems. She also said standing in solidary meant white allies and black allies standing as one.

“We need everyone,” said Seals. “We are the ones that are being oppressed. That’s why we say black lives matter.”

Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington joined in mourning the death of George Floyd and the countless others who lost their lives to racial injustices.

Emphasizing voting and love, Washington pointed out an American system with social injustice flaws.

“Racism is alive and well in every part of the nation,” said Washington, “Racism is embedded in our education system, our legal system, and the political processes that impact our daily lives. In these systems no matter how exceptional people may be, they will always be threatened or disadvantaged if their skin is the wrong color.”

Washington explained the rally is the first step in the journey for change and she will continue to express her frustrations through peaceful means.

“We must also turn this anger into progress and push for structural reform,” said Washington. “If we want to change the system we must vote.”

Washington said that voting for congressional representatives, state legislators, prosecuting attorneys, county officials, district judges, city officials, state officers were just as important as voting for the presidential candidates and State Representative District 17 Vivian Flowers agreed.

“We have leadership at the top calling for brutality but guess what, it is within our power to change that on November 3rd,” said Flowers. “We have to hold everyone accountable because this is an American problem.”

Flowers explained that implementing the laws and having accountable elected officials was incredibly important.

Pine Bluff Alderman Joni Alexander, who was in attendance to support the movement, said people must vote and understand who their elected officials are.

“Understand who the people, if something that heinous was to happen in our community, who are those people who need to be held accountable,” said Alexander.

Through the tears, there was also hope for the city of Pine Bluff as Seals states there will be more solidarity to follow.

Vivian Flowers said she is ready to get to work.

“Freedom is not free. It’s never free and it means that we have to defend our rights and defend our democracy,” said Flowers. Whether that is dealing with police brutality, fighting to get control of our schools, fighting for health insurance or real leadership in the White House that can be respected again across the globe, the fight is always ongoing. We always have to stay informed. We always have to keep voting, we always have to speak out together. We’re going to get it done this time.”