BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - The 'Progressive Voices of Central Illinois' hosted a rally at Stevenson Park Sunday afternoon. Dozens showed up with signs supporting the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
The focus of the rally was to raise voices to "defund police and keep the pressure on our elected officials," said organizer Chris Haines.
He also spoke out against violence toward peaceful protests. "So much violence against peaceful protesters by right wing extremists. We've been shot at, tear gassed, run over, and now we're being kidnapped by unmarked federal agencies. And i put this protest together to show people here locally that we're here to stop this kind of violence. We're not here to incite anything," explained Haines.
However, none of "kidnapping" he refers to has happened in Central Illinois. A woman was injured by a motorcycle driver that ran through a crowd in Bloomington during a march last month.
Willie Halbert with the Bloomington Normal Branch of the NAACP came out to support the rally as well.
"We've had too many people dying at the hands of police officers who are basically corrupt. Who are discriminatory. And we're basically saying that our lives matter just as much as anybody else," she said.
She also said police departments should be required to participate in some sort of diversity training.