“We have a long way to go”: BSU president after protests in St. Louis area


Photo by Tyler Keohane

Thousands gather for a protest in Downtown St. Louis on Wednesday, June 3 following the death of George Floyd.

Merlina San Nicolás Leyva, News Editor

Two peaceful protests marched on Main Street St. Charles and Highway 94 to call for justice following the death of George Floyd.

In St. Louis, protests are still planned through June 13.

Lindenwood Black Student Union President Shayla Raechelle Wilson said that “peaceful protests must continue for a change to happen.”

“As a black woman in America, it saddens me that my people are not accepted because of their skin color,” Wilson said. “For years, we have fought for equality, and 2020 is no different. The peaceful protests are a reminder of what our great grandparents, our grandparents, and our ancestors have endured and fought for.”

On June 3, protesters walked down Main Street alongside the police and Mayor Dan Borgmeyer. The march organizer, James Jones, told KSDK that St. Charles police Lieutenant Tom Wilkison had contacted him so they could walk together.

At the end of the protest, police and protesters kneeled together for a moment of silence in honor of Floyd.

On June 6, hundreds of protesters marched down Highway 94 with signs while heading to Interstate 70. Police blocked off intersections and stopped traffic so protesters could walk along the highway. According to KSDK, the organizers of the protests laid on their stomachs for a moment of silence.

The protesters then turned around and walked back to the Marcus St. Charles cinema, where the protest had begun around 3 p.m. The protest was organized by Expect Us in honor of Breonna Taylor.

Wilson said that she supports protests and petitions because without them there is still a long way to go.

“America has a long way to go,” Wilson said. “However, in two weeks, voices have been heard and some demands have been met. We mustn’t let our efforts and voices fade away. This is only the beginning. The fight for justice and equality is far from over.  We have a long way to go.”

Lindenwood University President John Porter released a statement on June 4, saying that the treatment of Floyd “goes well beyond how a human being should be treated in this country or any country.”

“Lindenwood, and our entire world, is stronger when we embrace our differences and learn from one another. We oppose racism and prejudice and ask that as a community, we unite for the cause of erasing racial injustice and peacefully reinforce the need to respect and cherish all human life,” Porter wrote in the statement.

In Downtown St. Louis, protests are still being held and others being planned. On June 8, two rallies took place. One started at the Missouri Court of Appeals and had several different routes, going through the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse and the Old Courthouse 11 N. 4th Street.

At 3 p.m. that day, the second rally gathered protesters from the Collegiate 100 City Chapters and 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis who marched down Downtown St. Louis, starting at the Old Courthouse.

Sloan Peavler, a college student in St. Louis, attended the “Protest against police murder” on June 7.  The march began at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Louis City Hall and ended at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. More than a thousand protesters joined the event to call for an end to police brutality.

“It was amazing to see how many people actually came out to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, even during a pandemic and in 98-degree summer weather,” Peavler said.

Peavler said protesters were asked to wear masks throughout the protest, and if they didn’t have one, organizers were also handing out surgical masks.

The death of Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department less than two weeks ago sparked demonstrations and civil unrest across the United States and in cities around the world, like London and Berlin.