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Organizers plan to honor Floyd, call attention to local injustices at State Capitol protest

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MADISON (WKOW) -- As anger, frustration and destruction erupt in cities across the country in the wake of George Floyd's killing, activists in Madison are preparing for their frustrations to be heard as well.

"We're calling for the end of the system that allowed them to have power to publicly execute and murder a black man," said Mahnker Dahnweih of Freedom Inc., one of a handful of organizations organizing the protest which had nearly 2,000 people set to attend as of Friday night.

Dahnweih says the protest will honor the lives of Floyd and others, stand in solidarity with those across the country fighting racial injustice and call attention to issues here.

"The disproportionate policing that black communities face here in Madison," she explained. "The disproportionate representation in the jails here in Madison as well in Dane County."

Dahnweih says killings like Floyd's have gone on for too long, and society has been too complacent letting them happen.

She says those upset with the destruction have their priorities in the wrong order.

"It's actually sickening that a man was publicly executed by police while folks stood by as he cried out for his mother, and now the conversation is, 'What about all the property damage right now?'" she said.

Dahnweih says the way to end the anger is to end the injustice.

"If seeing images of destruction on the news is super concerning to you in any way, I urge you to come and join us so we can put an end to all of this -- to the murder of black people," she said.

The protest starts at noon Saturday on the Capitol Square. Organizers are encouraging everyone to wear personal protective equipment and to socially distance, and they'll have extra masks on hand for anyone who doesn't have one.

27 News reached out to Capitol Police and Madison Police Friday evening about their plans to handle the protest, and neither organization responded.

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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