Several hundred armed Black men and women dressed in fatigues held a march downtown Saturday afternoon, paying tribute to ancestors who were killed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and vowing that such an event will never happen again.
“This is the strongest Black presence that Tulsa has ever seen,” an organizer said through a megaphone just outside ONEOK Field. “White Tulsa will never forget this day.
“Black Tulsa has no reason to be afraid, ever again.”
The march was organized by the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club of Central Texas, but it also included members of the New Black Panther Party and others.
Most members wore all-black fatigues, face coverings and sunglasses, and carried rifles as they chanted slogans and sang while marching from Ben Hill Community Center, 210 E. Latimer Place, south through downtown Tulsa to just south of the baseball park.
Among the chants were “Stand up, Black man, Stand up, Black woman,” and “Black power! Whose streets? Our streets!” Several hundred others also joined the group, and many motorists passing by honked their horns and raised their fists in support.
Related Story: Tulsa Race Massacre Commemoration Event Canceled Because Reparations Demand for Survivors Was Too High
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There were no apparent counter-protestors.
As organizers led the group across various city streets, at least two members with rifles stopped traffic on either side to allow marchers to pass through intersections safely.Organizers also made sure stragglers in the group and other bystanders finished crossing the streets safely.The march began about 3:45 p.m. before marchers returned to the community center about 5:30 p.m. to take a break, before again marching north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.Participants dispersed about 7 p.m. after walking to Pine Street then returning to the community center.“For the most part,” said Toni Frank, communications officer for the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club, “the march went fine in commemorating our ancestors … for our Second Amendment rights.”He said he thought the group was “stopped a little soon” as they approached Greenwood Avenue downtown, but “I think we made our point and I’ll live with that.”The marchers were stopped by police outside […]
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