Grand Rapids, MI – 50 people marched Saturday night, November 20, in Grand Rapids to protest the acquittal of vigilante murderer Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was acquitted earlier in the week, a result clearly engineered by biased circuit court judge Bruce Schroeder. The protest was organized by Justice for Black Lives, a Grand Rapids-based organization that has been leading the Black Liberation movement in the city since last year’s protests after the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.
Protesters called for justice for Rittenhouse’s victims, chanting “Anthony, Joseph, this one’s for you!” Several passersby honked and cheered to show their support.
The march was peaceful, was confined largely to the sidewalk, did not feature the use of megaphones, and concluded before 8 p.m. Nonetheless, after the protest, four activists were detained by the Grand Rapids Police Department. GRPD officers completely blocked traffic on Division Avenue, using at least eight squad cars. Earlier, dozens of bike cops swarmed Rosa Parks Circle and the surrounding area, cowardly picking off protesters returning home.
“Being both a transgender nonbinary, and a person of color, having a dozen cops all with guns aimed at me, while I was forced to kneel with my back to them? It does something to you. Especially when it occurs on the Transgender Day of Remembrance,” said Shane Perdue, director of research and development with Justice for Black Lives, “It shows how the system was designed when those like Rittenhouse can walk free, while we, as peaceful protestors, are being relentlessly harassed and vilified.”