North Texas Daily

Denton protests see new leadership

Denton protests see new leadership

Denton protests see new leadership
June 11
21:55 2020

By: Lindsey Donovan

A new non-profit organization, Our Path Forward, is taking the lead at Denton’s regular peaceful protests and led a march of hundreds from the Downtown Square to the Denton Police Department and Quakertown Park Wednesday evening.

The organization was formed the week before the march and focuses on “the abolition of the police force versus the reform of it,” co-creator Chris Umunna said.

The organization began as friends and relatives, but the group is now open to members willing to join to spread awareness and listen to black voices.

“We had similar views on the state of the world and the treatment of the black community right now,” Umunna said. “We just communicated with each other and we were able to form this group. We’ve been able to take donations to keep it funded and keep this going in the future. This isn’t just going to be a temporary thing that dies out.”

The organization started the protest underneath the confederate statue, which has now been scheduled for removal and relocation. Desteny Edwards, a co-creator for the organization, began the speeches as the march reached Quakertown Park.

“I am not here to convince you nor any of our speakers, that black lives are valuable, or that we’re strong, or even point to evidence in our history. I don’t need to, I shouldn’t have to,” Edwards said. “What I can tell you— and I will— is that we are tired of existing in a state where institutions meant to protect do not protect us.”

Among the crowd, UNT Alumni Adrian Jones showed support at her second protest in response to George Floyd’s death. Jones said despite the relocation of the confederate statue she is still not satisfied.

“They’re relocating it for the fact of businesses being harmed and not enough police to protect it,” Jones said. “It didn’t really show me that they care about black lives, but that they care more about the businesses and the police still, even though we are protesting against the police, defunding the police, abolishing the police. At the end of the day, it’s a small win for us, but also a slap in the face.”

Our Path Forward plans to lead more marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement to push the limits for restorative reform.

Featured Image: Chris Umunna, one of the organizers for Our Path Forward, leads the march down Hickory Street on June 10, 2020. Image by Samuel Gomez

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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