APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — Hundreds of people of all ages gathered in Appleton’s Houdini Plaza Saturday afternoon to protest social injustice.
“Nobody ever did what we’re doing,” Dishon, one of the movement’s young organizers told Local 5. “We made history. These past days we’ve made history. Nobody ever did what we’re doing so we here for a change.”
The movement has continued to grow over the week since Appleton’s first Black Lives Matter protest.
“Now we got more people than we started with from the first day,” Ray, another organizer said. “There’s more people here.”
A community has come together in Appleton, thanks to a group of young organizers.
“Everybody is tired,” organizer Cassandra said. “Everybody is ready for a changed. Just the confidence to take that first step, to get everybody together, and once you push a little bit, get that momentum going, it starts going by itself.”
“We always knew we can do this,” Ray added. “This is something we always had faith in, it’s not impossible, all it takes is for somebody to take the first step.”
Before the protest started at 5 p.m. a group came together in the plaza to sort through piles of toiletries, clothing, and food, among other donations for the homeless.
Protesters added donations to the piles as they gathered, which organizers then sorted into backpacks to be distributed to the area’s homeless by Pillars.
“We have enough for about 100, 150 backpacks,” Ashley “Zipper” Stuck said. “We decided that we can give back and we can say, ‘Hey, this is us, we’re making a difference.'”
Also on hand for protesters and anyone around Houdini Plaza: a hot meal.
“We got hamburgers, hot dogs, we got plenty of water, we got juice, snacks, chips,” Cainan Davenport, owner of Taperz Barber Shop said. “I just wanted to do what I can, a small piece that I can.”
Community members like Cainan chipped in, inspired by the youth-led movement.
“To see the youth of all different colors, creeds, religions, coming together,” Cainan said, “you can’t not be a part of something like that.”
A part of something organizers say is bigger than this demonstration.
“Our faces won’t be forgotten,” Organizer Darren said, “and this moment right here in Houdini Plaza will not be forgotten so at the end of the day this means more than anything.”