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Protesters plan to march in 'peaceful protest 2' Saturday in Cedar Rapids

Protesters march down Third Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Thousands gathered for the event, which
Protesters march down Third Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Thousands gathered for the event, which began at Greene Square before a march through downtown Cedar Rapids, to protest racism, police brutality and the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Another Black Lives Matter protest is expected in Cedar Rapids Saturday after organizers met with city of Cedar Rapids leaders earlier this week to discuss their seven demands for police reform in the city.

It’s important for protesters to keep moving in a positive direction, said Leslie Neely, 31, one of the protest organizers. “I personally have brown sons I want to be safe in this community growing up,” she said.

The protest will start and end at Bever Park, 2700 Bever Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Speakers will begin at 5 p.m., a march and demonstrations will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and the protest will end with an open mic from 6:30 to 7 p.m.

Protesters are asking city of Cedar Rapids leaders to commit to police reform that aligns with their seven demands including a citizen’s review board, investment in diversity, equity and inclusion, banning the use of chokeholds, and imposing body camera provisions.

When organizers met with four city leaders Tuesday, they only made it through two of the seven demands. They are meeting again via Zoom Friday morning, and hope to schedule regular meetings with the city until demands are met.

Tamara Marcus, 28, another protest organizer, said she hopes they set a standard for how the city negotiates with its residents.

Marcus wants to hear city leaders to publicly give a yes or no to the demands laid out by the protest.

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“These protests aren’t just for us,” Marcus said. “The community wants them and is ready to make their voice heard. Until our leaders are working for us, I think there’s going to be action in Cedar Rapids, and we’re glad to support that.”

Comments: (319) 398-8411; grace.king@thegazette.com

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