Youth Movement! Teenage Girls Plan Peaceful Protest That Attracts Crowd Of 10,000
Even though some of them aren't yet old enough to drive, they pulled off the largest peaceful gathering in their town's recent history.
When you think of history's greatest changemakers, you might imagine an older crowd, refined and educated, or those who have lived through decades of policy change and political unrest.
A group of teenage girls in Nashville, TN proved last week that anyone can make a difference, no matter their age.
Jade Fuller, Emma Rose Smith, Kennedy Green, Nya Collins, Mikayla Smith, and Zee Thomas are all between the ages of 14 and 16. The group recently planned a peaceful protest in Nashville that drew a crowd of over 10,000.
This group of teenage girls planned a peaceful protest in Nashville that attracted over 10 thousand . @brinleyhineman
The protest was referred to by the Tennessean as the city's "largest protest against racism and police brutality in recent memory."
Following a tweet on May 27th where Thomas said she would plan a protest if her mom allowed it, the high schoolers linked up online and started the group Teens4Equality. They worked alongside the local Black Lives Matter chapter, who helped to gather donations and get the word out.
To give you an idea of the crowd size, here's a timelapse video of protestors moving outside of the Tennessee House of Representatives...
Thomas said she was inspired to organize a protest after seeing the aftermath of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, where thousands of people took to the streets to demand change after a police officer pinned Floyd's neck to the pavement for minutes.
"I wanted the people in Nashville to know that we could feel that anger sooner or later if we didn't do something to stop police brutality," 15-year-old Thomas told the Washington Post.
Protestors gather in Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown Nashville. @joy_diehl
On the morning of the protest, the girls met in person for the first time at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown Nashville. In front of the crowd of thousands, each girl took her turn speaking about what the protest meant to them.
After their speeches, the girls led the protestors on a five-hour march over freeways, past the National Museum of African American History, and finally ending at the state capitol. There were no incidents and no arrests made during the event.
The girls, who aren't old enough to vote yet, said they were expecting around 800, or maybe a thousand people to show up for the march last Thursday. After seeing such a large turnout, they're more inspired than ever to keep fighting for change.
After making speeches, the teens led the protestors on a five-hour march through the city. @pithinthewind
"Although it can be hard to see that teens can do something, we just showed you that teens can do something," Fuller said.
The group has planned another peaceful protest for the Fourth of July where attendees will be encouraged to register to vote if they haven't already.
"We're going to be dedicating our time to this to make sure things actually happen," Thomas said of the group's future as activists. "I want people to know that things will change, and things will be better in the future."
will never forget what my eyes saw and the way it felt. the last march i attended was the March 4 Our Lives a coupl… https://t.co/XFOAZHcWPx— hayley from Paramore 🌺 (@hayley from Paramore 🌺)1591368514.0