Dozens march for equality on Tybee Island, call for hate crime law

Local News

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – A Black Lives Matter march happened on Tybee Island Sunday afternoon, following several other local protests in recent weeks.

The “Hear Me Now!” march for equality began at 2 p.m. on the Tybee Island pier. Protesters made their way down Butler Avenue to Tybee Island Memorial Park, where speakers addressed the crowd.

DeMarcus Beckham of Georgia Equality was one of the featured speakers.

“Like so many, these marches have been really great. People have been really great,” Beckham said. “People have been passionate, people are angry, people, they’re upset and they have every right to be. It’s about being constructive rather than being destructive.” 

March organizer Rico Gordon says the group was urged to remain on the sidewalk and to not block any roadways. Over 100 people marched in silence down Butler Avenue, something Gordon says he hopes will motivate legislative action.

Georgia is one of only four states that does not have a hate crimes law.

“There’s been so much black, white going on. We’re all human beings, we all bleed the same blood, so hopefully when people see us walking down Tybee on Butler Avenue that’s what they see: human beings waking together in unison to fight for equality for everybody,” Gordon said.

Local leaders were present at the march, but Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions did not attend. An event organizer read a message from her to the crowd.

Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen told News 3 ahead of the march that Tybee officials were expecting a busy weekend, so police were staffed and prepared for large crowds visiting the island.

Gillen invited all to come out and participate in the peaceful march.

WSAV will have the full story on News 3 at 6.

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