Freeport clergy host ‘drive-around’ protest in pursuit of racial justice

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FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — The Freeport Ministerial Fellowship Alliance and Freeport Clergy Group held a “drive-around” protest “in support of racial justice and community.”

“The murder of George Floyd was unconscionable, and the latest painful incident in an exhausting, centuries-long string of Racist violence in our nation. The clergy, leadership, and members of the Freeport area churches share the outrage and anguish that was expressed by so many. To all who peacefully protest racial injustice across our city, state, and nation: we stand with you,” the groups said in a statement.

Organizers of the event traveled in a caravan from Taylor Park to City Hall, then to the Stephenson County Courthouse and to the police station.

“The movement has to go beyond just marching in the street. There has to be someone that’s willing to sit down with the leaders of the African-American community, as well as the leaders of our white communities and say ‘Hey, what do we need to do to change the policies or our community?’ because if we can change the policies we can help with some of the systematic downfalls and racism’s that’s occurring in our country,” said Rev. Antwon Funches, the pastor at Missionary Baptist Church.

The event began at 5 p.m.

“This is a peaceful, non-violent protest demonstration. This is a driving-only event and will follow a prescribed route.”

The organizers said that Freeport Police will not allow marchers on the street.

Freeport Mayor Jodi Miller declared a State of Emergency following vandalism and violence in the city over the weekend, and imposed a curfew on Monday night, which expired Tuesday morning.

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