Jacksonville holds vigil for Sandra Bland
Jacksonville, FL – Over 100 activists and community members gathered here, July 26, to honor Sandra Bland. Bland, who supported the Black Lives Matter movement, became national news when she was found dead in her jail cell after being arrested for a minor traffic offense. Many doubt the official story that Bland committed suicide, especially after video evidence surfaced of Bland being handled roughly by the police.
A number of speeches were given from various organizations and individuals outraged after the death of Bland. Tefa Galvis spoke on behalf of the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition about the ongoing campaign to stop police crimes and the abuse of Black women at the hands of the state. Several local artists played songs and sang hymns as the crowd listened and reflected.
Chevara Orrin, a local activist in Jacksonville, spoke about why she organized the rally and vigil. “It's important to show solidarity on a number of levels. We want to create space for Black and brown women and show that their lives matter. We want not only to create space, but to bear witness to our pain on a very basic level. We also gather people to create new strategies for stopping these incidents.” She added, “I'm not interested in this vigil being the final word on Sandra. I'm interested in sitting down with those in power and talking about why this happened.”
Activists vowed to continue the fight to stop police crimes and show that Black lives matter.