EDINBURG — Several hundred protesters gathered outside of Edinburg City Hall across the street from First Christian Church on Saturday afternoon in a demonstration meant to take a stand against racism and show solidarity with victims of police brutality.
It was hot out, but the weather was calm and Zak Borgia, one of the event’s organizers, described it as largely peaceful.
“It was wonderful,” he said. “I’m not sure on the headcount, but just guessing we had 500 to 600 people show up.”
The protesters held a moment of silence that lasted 8 minutes and 46 seconds, representing the amount of time Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, had his knee on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, during an arrest that ended in Floyd’s death last month.
In addition to describing the demonstration as peaceful, Borgia added that speakers from black organizations addressed the crowd and attendees were encouraged to confront racism in their daily lives.
“The black community may be small here but they’re just as valuable, just as equal and just as seen as any other person here in the Valley,” Borgia said.
Saturday’s protest was the second in Edinburg and one of several held throughout the Rio Grande Valley in the last eight days in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Support has also been widespread throughout the U.S., with tensions boiling over to riots and instances of police brutality reported in many major cities.
In the Valley, protests have been relatively peaceful. There have, however, been incidents of note, such as a man wielding a chainsaw at a group of protesters in McAllen on Friday being arrested and charged with misdemeanor deadly conduct and assault.