Champaign protesters show up for Jacob Blake

Demonstrators+stand+outside+the+Champaign+City+Building+in+Champaign%2C+IL+on+the+corner+of+University+Ave+and+Walnut+St+in+a+show+of+support+for+Jacob+Blake+on+Wednesday.

Ryan Ash

Demonstrators stand outside the Champaign City Building in Champaign, IL on the corner of University Ave and Walnut St in a show of support for Jacob Blake on Wednesday.

By Ryan Ash, Photo Editor

A small group of protesters gathered outside the Champaign City Building on Wednesday evening to show support for Jacob Blake, a Black man who was shot and paralyzed by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

Demonstrators held signs with phrases like “Justice For Jacob Blake,” “End White Silence” and “Black Lives Matter.” They cheered and raised their fists as passing cars honked at them. 

Abby Schrantz, a member of the Champaign-Urbana chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice, helped organize the event.

“We’ve actually been holding (protests) on a weekly basis. The premise of them is to end white silence,” Schrantz said. “We’re trying to gather the idea of showing up for racial justice within Champaign.” 

Demonstrators stand outside the Champaign City Building in Champaign, IL on the corner of University Ave and Walnut St in a show of support for Jacob Blake on Wednesday. (Ryan Ash)

Schrantz encourages community members to look for resources online if they wish to help the cause.

“If people want more information they should definitely go to the C-U Showing Up For Racial Justice website,” Schrantz said. “If they want to know who to call in support of Jacob Blake, they can go to the website and get some information there.”

The C-U SURJ website offers ways to get involved such as scheduled events, personal action plans and calls to action. The organization also offers a weekly newsletter for its members to stay updated. 

Despite the small turnout, Schrantz believes in the power of the individual when it comes to activism. 

“Even if there’s just one person being the seed for the event, just showing up, having a sign makes a difference,” she said.

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