Local activists seek change ahead of primaries

Local News

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — As protests around the nation turned violent over the weekend, activists in Evansville joined together on the Riverfront to show you can demonstrate peacefully and still create reform in society.

“My skin was not an option, my color was not an option, but everyone else’s actions is an option,” said Marissa Rayborn.

Along the Riverfront, demonstrations against racial injustice continue, as people advocate for unity and change.

“You don’t know what they’re going to do. You don’t know if they’re going to pull out a gun on you, you don’t know if they’re just going to take you in and they’re one of the good ones or they’re going to do you bad, it’s scary,” said Kearia Hansford of Evansville.

“I’m ready to get a message across that all this is wrong. We all need to come together. You know, we bleed the same, we’re the same. Just because our skin is different doesn’t mean we’re different than anyone else,” said Sierra Lewis of Evansville.

Along with the message, the activists are encouraging action.

“We have to vote for the congress men and women that we put in the house that represent us because if we don’t we’re letting it all fall on the President’s head and it’s not all the President. You have to get out, you have to vote,” said Marissa Rayborn of Evansville.

“If you’re sitting at home and you’re behind your cellphone and you’re speaking that’s good, but that ain’t good enough because baby if you aren’t being seen, you aren’t being heard,” said Hansford.

“We cannot make this movement happen if you do not get out and vote. It’s time for a change,” said Lydia DeJarnett of Evansville.

White or black, day or night, these activists say they’ll be here for as long as they’ll need to until they are sure the motto “E is for Everyone” rings true.

“Evansville is a beautiful city and it could be a lot more beautiful if we came together as one and stayed joint as one and no division in between us,” said Rayborn.

Saturday June 6, Eyewitness News is told another group of activists is planning a rally called, “I can’t breathe” specifically aimed at protesting police brutality. The rally will begin at 5 p.m. at the Four Freedoms Monument.

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Around the nation, activists continue to seek social reform. Today’s demonstrations for racial equality are taking on another significance. In less than 24 hours, hoosiers will have the chance to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

“People want to sit back and complain that the laws and the rules are not considered quote-on-quote “Just to everyone.” Your voices are not being heard if you just go and vote every four years for the President of the United States because there are a whole slew you have to go through before bills can be passed,” said Marissa Rayborn of Evansville.

According to the state of Indiana, Vanderburgh County had over 120,000 registered voters, but less than 12,500 voted in the primary elections; a turnout of only 10%.

“Hopefully whoever votes, and whoever gets elected knows what they’re doing and can help with this crisis because if not, we’re all in danger,” said Sierra Lewis of Evansville.

Rain or shine, day or night, these activists say they’ll be downtown for as long as they need to be to encourage others to use their voices for good.

“If you are out of sight you are out of mind. We cannot be out of sight because if we are, we will be forgotten,” said Rayborn.

If you live in Indiana, you can check the status of your voter registration and find the nearest polling location to you by clicking here.

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(This story was originally published on June 1, 2020.)

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