Black Lives Matter Protesters Rally At Governor's Mansion

Jul 12, 2016

Monday meant another night of protests in Atlanta, as hundreds of demonstrators outraged by recent police killings of black men held a sit-in outside the governor's mansion.

After gathering at the Lenox MARTA station, the protesters blocked a road near Lenox Square mall before marching to the mansion amid chants of "justice" and "black lives matter."

Aurelia Williams is with an Atlanta Chapter of Black Lives Matter. She said the protesters had a number of goals.

"We're not just asking for black people to stop being killed–that's a major demand," she said. "But we're asking to defund the police state, stop the militarization of the police. Those are big asks, but they're necessary because they're what has become the problem."

JT Pennington is with Rise Up Georgia, an affiliate of Black Lives Matter.

He helped keep the protesters together and block intersections and said the march was a continuation of the work done in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

"I mean, work has been done, but we are building on the work they have already done,” Pennington said. “It's sad they're rejecting the work we're doing like it's not the same thing like they were doing before. We're building on top of their old movements."

Pennington was referring to comments made over the weekend from Andrew Young. The Civil Rights Movement leader questioned the methods of today’s protesters, calling them “spoiled little brats.”

Deja Williams was also among the protesters. She said there’s fatigue among protesters and police.

“’Cause they’re tired of us, but we’re tired of them. But we’re going to keep doing it. We’re going to be out here until we’re tired, until we can’t do it, until we get justice it’s just going to keep happening."

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Police Chief George Turner appeared at the sit-in late Monday night and spoke privately with protest leaders before the crowd dispersed peacefully.