Around 1,500 people registered their vehicles to participate Saturday for more than 3,000 people who decided to peacefully protest in memory of George Floyd.
NAACP Vancouver started organizing the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest eight days before the event took place, Vice President Jasmine Tolbert said. The civil rights organization collaborated with YWCA Clark County as the day of the rally approached so their resources could be pooled, according to Tolbert.
“People needed something. And apparently, this was that something. People really want to express their support and participate even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” Tolbert stated.
Automobiles started lining up in the parking of Town Center Plaza at 5411 E. Mill Plain Blvd. an hour prior to the rally’s official start at noon. Participants were encouraged to stay inside their automobiles, which were adorned with themes like “BLM,” painted on windows, “End Police Brutality” and “#saytheirnames”.
Short speeches were given before the automobiles headed west on East Mill Plain Boulevard to the Port of Vancouver Terminal 1, particularly the parking lot across the street from WareHouse ’23. The speeches were broadcast over the radio on 87.7 FM.
Obie Ford III, associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion at Washington State University Vancouver, started the rally by informing the crowd he was a proud black man, to which a chorus of vehicles horns responded.
Obie Ford III, Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at WSUV, speaks during the event as cars begin to head downtown during the rally. The speeches were broadcast over the radio on 87.7. @thecolumbian pic.twitter.com/DVEj1RN5n0
— Alisha Jucevic (@alishajucevic) June 6, 2020