The activist group said it planned to march at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Saturday, September 5 at 7:57 p.m.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Black Lives Matter 757 will hold another rally Saturday night in Virginia Beach to protest police violence and injustices that they say have harmed the Black community.
Organizers said the Oceanfront Shutdown is in honor of Damario Joyner, India Kager, Alvin Baum, William Chapman, Matthew Rushin – and that’s just to name a few.
Black Lives Matter 757 said all of those people were involved in altercations with police that either led to incarceration or death.
“As long as there is no violence, no breaking or looting, we’ll have no problem,” explained Earl Lewis, Jr.
He’s a member of the organization and the cousin of William Chapman.
“Yes, I will walk with them, yes I will march with them,” Lewis said.
According to protest leaders, this rally is meant to bring solidarity, not destruction.
Japharii Jones, the president of BLM757, said they’ve had several conversations with oceanfront businesses ahead of the protest, letting them know in advance that they plan to peacefully march.
“We did have conversations with quite a few business owners just to let them know hey, we aren’t out here because we hate you, we aren’t out here as a personal attack against you, we’re out here because the city of Virginia Beach needs change,” Jones said. “Coming out here on the busiest days of the summer is the only way to get their attention.”
There will be hydration stations where water will be waiting for those who need it.
The group said they want full dismantling and defunding of the Virginia Beach Police Department. They want to put that money towards educating and training law enforcement.
BLM757 leaders said the hope is that some of that money would go to mental health treatment facilities, community organizations and crisis workers.
Black Lives Matter members say the purpose of Saturday’s protest is to send a powerful message, but group members will not tolerate destructiveness and chaos.
Virginia Beach Police say they will shut down streets before the rally starts.