WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Rallies and protests took place around Wilmington ahead of President Trump’s visit.
Black Lives Matter Wilmington gathered a Jervay Park starting at noon Wednesday for an anti-racism rally. The group’s leader, Sonya Patrick, says she knows the president is in town to honor veterans, but she hopes he recognizes veterans of all races.
“All races fought in World War II, including our black veterans, to make this country great,” said Patrick. “Even the White House that he lives in was built by the hands of our ancestors.”
Patrick says she wanted to have a rally during Trump’s visit in hopes he’ll hear they’re collective calls for change in the system.
“A divided house will fall,” said Patrick. “We have to stand together as a nation because there’s only one race: the human race.”
Some UNCW students attended the rally. They say they wanted to use their voice for others whose voice may not be heard.
“Minority groups need to be represented and they need more than just themselves,” said Katie Waddell. “We need to be here. We need to stand up, especially as students because we’re the next generation. We need out voices to be heard. We need to get out and vote."
“If we don’t speak up now, It’s not going to change,” Carolina Bartolome.
Demonstrations gathering on the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington with signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Dump Trump.” Demonstrators showed up with hopes of getting out various messages.
“I want to make sure people know that I love the country,” said Kevin Chandler “You can protest. You can be against what the president stands for, but still up the country very much so that’s why I’m decked out like this.”
Several people were passing out voter registration forms. Rebecca Terammel says change can’t happen unless you use your right to vote.
“I’m not telling anybody who to vote for or what to think,” said Rebecca Terammel. “What I’m telling people, what I’m encouraging people to do, is to honor the sacrifices of our veterans. To honor the sacrifices of our civil rights leaders who we celebrate almost unanimously and do exactly what they died for us to do, what they suffered for us to do, what they Marched for us to do and that is be involved in the democratic process and vote and make our voices heard.”