SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS 10) — A peaceful Black Lives Matter protest was held in Saratoga Springs on Wednesday.
Community members gathered at Congress Park with signs before marching down Broadway. The group called for an end to racism and police brutality.
“We are out here screaming Black Lives Matter because black lives never mattered to anybody,” said Lexis Figuereo, who organized the protest. ” A black life is like an animal;s life to anybody. To us we are human and we know that we are human. We have been fighting this for hundreds of years and we are going to keep fighting until we get what we want.”
Figuereo, as well as several other protesters, want to see more change in the criminal justice system and would like everyone in law enforcement whether it be city police, state troopers, sheriffs deputies, and even corrections officers to wear body cameras.
“I will say, there is a problem with the way our criminal justice system is and we are out here to fight against that so people don’t have to continue to be scared of the police and getting pulled over and just harassing people for no reason,” said Sistah Padin, who was also an organizer.
The protesters are calling to defund the police as well.
“We want you to know that defunding the police means reallocating the funds into the community, into the youth which is our future,” explained Figuereo. ” And not wasting money on horses or all of the other stuff we got going on in this town. It’s not important. What’s important is the youth, and we also need better affordable housing. There is no affordable housing in this town. People are forced to move out to Troy, Schenectady, and Albany, or in the middle of nowhere where they have to deal with more racial tensions.”
The protesters made their way to Saratoga’s City Hall and then to the near by Saratoga Springs Police Department before eventually making their way back to Congress Park.
Along the way, there were two instances where bystanders argued with protesters, however the protest organizers told the group to keep walking in order to maintain peace.
“We are definitely going to be bringing more cultural events to Saratoga they need to get integrated with other people than just the little bubble they are in in this town,” said Figuereo. “Everyone needs to open their eyes as well, and just learn to love people and just accept them for who they are and don’t look at their skin color.”
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