Young activists take to Rock Island streets

Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 12:19 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2021 at 12:20 AM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - A group of high schoolers is showing it’s never too early to have your voice be heard. About two dozen young adults took to the streets of Rock Island Friday evening, chanting “Black lives matter, protect Asian lives.”

Organizers Zaw Win and Omnia Salih organized the peaceful protest, wanting to inspire other young adults: “we usually don’t see that many people our age in protests and marching for our own civil rights. So we wanted to be the face of it in the Quad Cities and start it off,” says Salih. Win adds: “this protest especially is to establish the unity and solidarity between our two communities.”

After a surge in police brutality and anti-Asian violence, Win and Salih felt it important to team up with different parts of the community, “we hope to really get a sense of unity between the both of us whenever we need it. We can turn to the Black community, we can turn to the Asian community, whenever we need it. It builds our bond stronger together.”

Travis Schlitter, President of We F.I.G.H.T. showed his support for young activists: “I think it’s really cool to see the young people of America coming out and speaking their mind, showing their support for the same causes. Any time you can take high school students or young students who are fired up about a cause and help amplify their voice, it’s important.”

“We want to relay the message to those afraid to raise their voices it’s ok and we are standing with them. they’re afraid because of what’s happening to our communities, afraid to reach out in support of our communities. To give them strength to raise their voices as well,” Win adds.

Another group is hosting a peaceful protest Saturday against systemic racism and violence. It’s at 3 p.m. outside the Davenport Police Department.

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