Residents turn out on Vine for George Floyd

Margaret Allen
Fort Hays State University student Mariah Moore participated in a George Floyd protest at 27th and Vine streets on Sunday afternoon.

A Facebook invite on Sunday drew more than 50 people to a George Floyd protest at the busy intersection of 27th and Vine streets.

“I’m here because we can’t stay silent any longer. People sitting by and doing nothing is going to result in absolutely nothing. Education over hate,” said Mariah Moore, who held a homemade cardboard sign that said “Say their names.”

Moore, like others lining the curbs north of the corners of Cervs Phillips 66 and the Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau, is a student at Fort Hays State University.

But others who turned out to protest the police-custody death of Minneapolis, Minn., resident George Floyd, were professors, older people and just Hays residents, said Dannielle Sleigh, also a Fort Hays student.

“We’ve had way more support than I expected,” said Sleigh, holding a homemade “Black Lives Matter” sign.

Standing next to her was C.J. Sunday carrying her homemade sign “White silence is violence.”

With a strong wind whipping their hair, clothing and signs, the protesters cheered and waived at the many people driving by honking in approval.

People were drawn to the event by a Facebook post by Anniston Weber, inviting them to “A stand against police brutality — George Floyd Vine St. Protest.”

Sleigh said that only one pick-up load of young men had stopped to give the protesters a hard time, and they left when they were asked to do so by officers on hand from the Hays Police Department.

Dannielle Sleigh, left, and C.J. Sunday, right, both students at Fort Hays State University, participated in a George Floyd protest at 27th and Vine streets on Sunday afternoon.