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Fairbanks Rally Voices Message, Peacefully


Fairbanks joined many cities around the nation and world over the weekend in holding an event to express solidarity against police killings of people of color, following the suffocation of an African American man by a Minneapolis officer last week. Sadness and anger about George Floyd’s murder drew hundreds of people together Saturday in downtown Fairbanks for a peaceful march and rally. 

The “I Can’t Breathe” march and rally organized by the local chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Alaska Native group: Native Movement, called on all people to stand together against police brutality. Fairbanks NAACP president Bennie Colbert reflected on rioting happening in Minneapolis and some other lower 48 cities, since Floyd’s murder.

Credit Robyne / KUAC

Enei Begaye, Executive Director of Native Movement and other Fairbanks rally organizers took tuns reading names of people of color, including several Alaskans, killed in confrontations with police. Saying she’s been hurting and angry for years, Begaye emphasized the importance of coming together for change.

The NAACP’s Colbert says law enforcement officers are not trained to behave like the Minneapolis policeman who pressed his knee on George Floyd’s neck until he stopped breathing.

The rally concluded with presentations by poets and speakers in front of a large crowd at Golden Heart Plaza. The majority of those in attendance wore face coverings, and tried to maintain social distance.