Protest Update: Decatur rally against ‘Lost Cause’ monument; $20k reward for Wendy’s arsonists; more marches

Protesters cross the Peachtree Street bridge between Buckhead and Midtown.

Marches, rallies, and demonstrations continue to happen daily in Atlanta as the demands for an end to racial injustice grow in the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks. On Tuesday, June 16, a march were held in Downtown from Centennial Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District, while another demonstration was held outside the burned out Wendy’s where Brooks was shot and killed by police on June 12.

Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights will hold a rally, Take It Down – No More Monuments to White Supremacy, on the Decatur Square on Wednesday, June 17, at 6:30 p.m. The demand is to remove Confederate and Jim Crow-era monuments erected to preserve white supremacy located around the area of the DeKalb County courthouse. Encouraged by a court order from Judge Clarence Seeliger to remove the “Lost Cause” Confederate obelisk by June 26, the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is holding the gathering to show support for the actions of the city of Decatur in filing the complaint and to urge DeKalb County to move ahead swiftly with the removal plans of a “nuisance” which is “manifestly injurious to the public health or safety.”

A photo composite of the two women wanted in the arson of the Wendy’s on University Avenue. (Courtesy CBS 46)

The reward has increased to $20,000 for information on two women suspected in the arson that destroyed the Wendy’s restaurant at 125 University Avenue during protests against the police shooting of Rayshard Brook on June 13. “We don’t want to allow peaceful voices and focus to be overshadowed by events such as this.” Atlanta Fire Chief Randall Slaughter said during at June 16 press conference. There are currently multiple suspects in the arson investigation, but there are only clear photos of two of the subjects, who both appear to be white females. Anyone with information is asked to call the Atlanta Fire Department at (404) 546-7000. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during a press conference on June 15 that the Wendy’s was minority-owned and 40 people were out of job.

OneRace Movement will host March on Atlanta on Friday, June 19, starting at 9 a.m. in Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown. The march will head to the State Capitol then return to the park for music and special remarks. More details are available at oneracemovement.com/marchonatlanta.

A large group of Black Lives Matter protesters marched from Buckhead to Downtown and back June 14 to spotlight racism and police brutality. The “Walk for Justice” drew more than 300 people, according to organizer Victoria Williams, and traveled a route symbolizing the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, which triggered nationwide and local protests. “I organized an 8.46-mile walk for the 8.46 minutes the officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd,” Williams said in a text message. Read more and see photos at our sister publication, Reporter Newspapers.

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