‘We’re not stopping’: Young people lead demonstration at Capitol on fifth day of protests

MADISON, Wis. – Protests following the death of George Floyd continued for the fifth day going into Wednesday night without sign of losing steam.

Those gathering at the Capitol were largely led by youth.

“We’re out here because our lives, literally breathing,” Jada Sayles said. “It’s not right.”

She and her friends Jaharee Weah and Danielle Mielke didn’t organize the protest, but were happy to join in.

“We want everyone to have the same opportunity to be safe and go home after an encounter with police, because a lot of black people are scared that they won’t,” Weah said.

“People are tired of living in fear,” Mielke said. “People are tired of feeling like anything can happen to them at any given moment and there’s no proof or evidence telling that justice will be served after.”

Sayle said they’re carrying the torch for the generations before them.

“They had to go through slavery. They had to go through segregation. They had to go through civil rights movement,” Sayles said. “Now it’s time for us to make some real change and break through barriers that keep getting set up in front of us. This time it’s not coming back up. We’re done with it. Black people are fed up.”

They said a list of names including George Floyd, Tony Robinson, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor push them forward.

“It could be any one of us, any day, our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our friends,” Sayles said. “Somebody’s gotta care.”

They say that somebody should be everyone.

“This isn’t a black vs. white issue,” Mielke said. “This is a human race vs. brutality issue.”

“We will stay out here,” Sayles said. “We’ll be out here every day, the next day, the day after that, because at the end of the day, black lives matter. That’s what we’re fighting for: equality.”

For the protesters, several days of demonstration are drops in the bucket if it means painting a better future.

“It keeps happening,” Sayles said. “So this time it’s like, we’re not stopping.”