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Another late-night rally & march in Des Moines, ending with tear gas

News

June 2nd, 2020 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) More than a thousand people gathered at the steps of the Iowa capitol last (Monday) night for a rally organizers labeled as a “call to action,” not a protest. It followed several nights of sometimes-violent demonstrations across the state sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Reverend Ben Bell Junior, of the group Dads with a Purpose, urged those at the rally to push for stronger policies against police violence. “We need to decide if we’re going to create a society where people are afraid to do that to somebody or not,” Bell says. “There should’ve been a fear to handle him like that.”

Other speakers called on protesters to vote and get involved in local politics. After the Polk County curfew took effect at 9 P-M, hundreds of demonstrators from the rally marched through downtown Des Moines and at one point, members of the group got on their knees outside police headquarters. They alternately chanted “I can’t breathe,” and “Hands-up, don’t shoot.”

Authorities used tear gas to chase a group of protesters off the state capitol grounds late last (Monday) night. There were no reports of damage or arrests.

(By Grant Gerlock, Iowa Public Radio)