Last night around 730pm I heard an African-American man was found hung in a tree in Atlanta's Piedmont Park earlier that day. After the Mayor handed the case to the FBI to rule out whether it was a suicide or connected to recent activity of the KKK, the Atlanta Chapter of Black Lives Matter marched to the park and held a rally where organizers and community members spoke. After gathering near the tree where the incident took place hundreds marched through the city ending in a police stand off on Interstate Highway 85. People of all ages stood arm in arm blocking traffic while boys danced freely beneath a overpass on a deserted 6 lane spread. The local police were very respectful and did not use violence to stop the peaceful protesting. Many people in cars were outraged at the disruption of their commute but many also honked and cheered in solidarity. I overheard one young father say "I cannot wait to tell my children what we did here tonight." My favorite moment was when a women eventually left all of her friends in a swanky bar and joined us as we passed by and became a part of the group.
There is another gathering tonight at the National Center For Civil and Human Rights Museum starting in Centennial Park at 6pm to honor those who were killed in Dallas. I pray that the police are as restrained as they were last night given the recent escalation of violence and that our community can continue to grieve in peace, get mad and get mobilized.