Richmond protests to continue with ‘5,000 Man March’ on Saturday

Hundreds of protesters chanted "tear it down" by the Robert E. Lee monument on Wednesday afternoon, following news that local and state officials planned to move forward with the statue's removal. Photo by Andrew Ringle

Eduardo Acevedo, News Editor

Thousands are expected to march in Richmond on Saturday for a 16th day of protests in the city, sparked by the killing of a black man in police custody.

Saturday’s demonstration, “Virginia’s 5,000 Man March,” will start at the Robert E. Lee memorial on Monument Avenue at 1 p.m. The march’s Facebook page states that protesters are marching “for your children… no matter the color.”

Protesters gathered near VCU’s Monroe Park campus Friday for demonstrations hosted by Black Pride RVA, Race Capitol, People’s Justice Alliance, Virginia Student Power Network, VCU Student Power and Godfrey’s. 

Many waved rainbow flags as they marched through the Fan District in honor of Pride Month in June.

On Thursday night, demonstrators marched down Broad Street and through Windsor Farms, a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood. Demonstrations began in Richmond on May 29 in honor of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. 

A Richmond native who wished to be identified as XYZ said the march through Windsor Farms showed residents that these protests are not going away. He said Windsor Farms residents should get out of their homes and join protesters in the streets.

“If you don’t, you’re against us,” he said. “If you’re against us, then stay off the street.”

As the Black Lives Matter protesters made their way through the neighborhoods of Windsor Farms, residents came out of their homes to watch the crowd chant and follow drivers who honked their horns. 

Throughout the last week of protests in Richmond, three monuments have been removed: the Williams Carter Wickham statue in Monroe Park, a statue of Christopher Columbus in Byrd Park and Jefferson Davis’ statue on Monument Avenue. On Thursday, city officials removed a statue  honoring fallen police officers from Byrd Park due to vandalism.

Ashley Williams, owner of BareSOUL Yoga, a health and wellness center in Richmond, said “taking down the monuments is just the first step.”

“There’s a lot of inner work that these symbols mean, and I think we have a lot of work to do after they’re even taken down,” Williams said. “I think that we all need to come together and work through systematic change.”

Williams led a “love and kindness meditation” with protesters on Friday.

Jayvion Scott, a sixth grader who spent his birthday protesting with his older sister, had a message for his fellow middle schoolers.

“Black lives matter and come out,” Scott said. “It don’t matter what age you are, come out and protest.”


  1. Students, fellow activists, Citizens you’ve come this far…so far really. Two weeks, no stone untouched, graffiti everywhere. Maybe not a Monet but what art! Marching, chanting, freedom fighters one & all.Black, brown, POC all, LGBT, no one must be left out. Monuments trashed, authority tamed. What a legacy, what a resume you can build. Such accomplishments….how cool is that to feel the fire at your back & press on. You will make it better for those who follow! No more Floyds down the gutter. Why stop. Trash more real estate, loot juz a bit more. Old mister Lee probably never did like the LBGT community. Old Jeff Davis probably never had a sense of humor. Hey ’bout the capital. Old Jefferson not only had slaves but raped a few. Such privilege, Got gettum. Refine your skill-set. You’re adults now besides Stoney & Ralph are with least in their hearts. No laws broken no ideals forfeited….no lives wrecked. Gotta get those nasty cops, (until U really need one) & damn that Johnny Reb…(didn’t that war in in ’65). No justice, No peace sister….Brother can I borrow your debit card?

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