Day two of the demonstrations for justice in Louisville. See my daylog from yesterday for a background of what is going on.
Despite temperatures in the mid 30s and sleet, a crowd of about 150 turned out today for a second day of prayer and protest in front of the police department headquarters. Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth was there organizing the marchers, and today instead of simply standing in a mass, he had us marching in a loop from Jefferson Street to the alley behind police headquarters, then across 7th Street and back. After a while, once again, 7th Street was blocked off by demonstrators. Young and old, black and white, workers and the unemployed -- a wide variety of people turned up to raise their voices for justice.
Among the groups represented were the following: Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Alliance Against Racism and Political Oppression, Rainbow Coalition, and the Justice Resource Center, EarthSave International, and others. Also ministers and representatives from a number of area churches were there.
After the marching, singing, and chanting, Rev. Coleman of the Justice Resource Center called the crowd together in the middle of 7th Street. He led us in prayer, then he passed the bullhorn to Rev. Shuttlesworth. Rev. Shuttlesworth encouraged us to be vigilant and to not be intimidated. He said he hadn't been to jail since Ronald Reagan was president, and he wasn't afraid to go now. Many in the crowd erupted that they were not afraid either. Then the bullhorn went to a woman from Smoketown, a poor part of Louisville where the killing of James Taylor took place, and she shook the walls with an angry, passionate diatribe against the police and the administration of Mayor Dave Armstrong.
After a closing prayer, the crowd dispersed peacefully. Traffic along 7th Street resumed. We all promised to return tomorrow for the final day of demonstrations. On schedule to attend is Rev. Martin Luther King III.