LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Black Lives Matter demonstrators took to the streets of Las Vegas Friday to call for continued change on Juneteenth, the day those once enslaved in America were officially freed.
Chants, signs and heartfelt songs shaped this on a monumental day in our nation’s history.
“We are only free-ish,” Black Lives Matter organizer Zyera Dorsey said of the black community. “We are not free.”
The Black Lives Matter movement has continued to demand justice over the past few weeks here in Las Vegas and around the world, but Friday’s events held a new level of poignance and pain.
“We just need more change,” Black Lives Matter demonstrator Logan Conley told 8 News Now. “We have to keep going, we can never stop.”
“I hope that wakes up a lot of people that didn’t know that this was an actual holiday for us,” Dorsey added of Juneteenth. “To go and read about it, do research.”
June 19, 1865 marks the day when all United States slaves officially gained freedom, two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
“Remember all the lives that have been lost,” Black Lives Matter demonstrator Tia Coward said of the day. “Due to brutality and racism in this country and around the world.”
Now, 155 years later, those marching said there is still so much more work to do, adding that they won’t move on their message.
“I hope it lights a fire in more people to just take more action,” Conley said of Friday’s demonstrations. “And I hope that it sparks people to vote.”
They said they won’t stop fighting back until everyone experiences true equality.
“If I’ve got to be 85 out here marching,” Dorsey concluded. “I will.”
No word on how many people were detained, but 8 News Now crews saw several demonstrators in handcuffs on the Las Vegas Strip Friday night.
Police also intervened with a Black Lives Matter rally Friday afternoon. They confiscated several wooden signs from the group, citing a Nevada statute.