Traverse City News and Events

BLM Demonstrations Take Place Across Northern Michigan

By Beth Milligan | June 22, 2020

Across northern Michigan, anti-racism rallies have sprung up, usually organized by young people who are fed up not only with the events that have led to protests nationwide but also with the quieter, more out-of-sight racism that they’ve experienced in the place that they live.

In this week's Northern Express - sister publication of The Ticker - writer Patrick Sullivan explores recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Cadillac, Petoskey, and Traverse City. Organizers of those events have had different life experiences, but their hearts are in the same place. Courtney Wiggins, an African-American woman who has lived in Traverse City for a year-and-a-half and Up North for eight years, says she helped organize a protest in Traverse City because she hoped to find a like-minded community.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re at - if you’re a person of color, you’re probably experiencing some level of racism, and so this is a cause that’s of course very close for us,” Wiggins says. “I have a young son who will be nine soon, and I’m tired of living in a society where racism is accepted. These acts of violence really need to stop.”

In Petoskey, a group of moms who have biracial children decided that it was an important moment and that the protest should come to the shores of Little Traverse Bay. In Cadillac, Alex Marshall - who is black and had a disturbing encounter with police in January - later organized a protest to which 300 people showed up, resulting in a front-page photo of Marshall kneeling on the ground in solidarity with a police officer from the same department that arrested him.

Read more about the protests across northern Michigan and the organizers behind them in this week's Northern Expressavailable to read online or at one of nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

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