‘We put our community back together’: Volunteers clean up damage after intense protests

‘We put our community back together’: Volunteers clean up damage after intense protests

Amid peaceful protests, some racist individuals are attempting to hijack the movement by spreading messages of hate and violence under the guise of Black Lives Matter. Not only does it create an incorrect image of the organization, it attempts to take away from the message advocates are trying to relay. But protestors, volunteers, and activists alike refuse to let that happen.

As protests continue across the country following the violent death of George Floyd, many protestors are coming together to rebuild and clean up destruction caused by looting, arson, and vandalism. Volunteers across the country came together peacefully to clean up following a weekend of protests in order to make sure the movement and its message are not tainted or defined by violence and destruction.

“So many people were worried that the message was getting lost in the violence,” Justine Sandoval, president of the Denver Young Democrats told The New York Times. Sandoval organized a cleanup event on Sunday in Denver. “They want to show up and say, ‘These protests are important, but we’re going to be there to pick up the pieces afterward,’ ” she said. “It felt good, because we want to keep this conversation going.” Sandoval added that cleaning up does not mean the fight is over. “It still doesn’t erase the fact that we’re fighting, because black people are being killed by the police in this country,” she said.

Photos of the violence remind us of the importance of addressing issues of race and equality. These photos remind us of community strength and rebuilding.

This morning, we�re seeing members of the community in the streets of Atlanta, cleaning up. pic.twitter.com/2BVHl03uG7

� Natasha Chen (@NatashaChenCNN) May 30, 2020

People clean up broken glass and repair windows at the College Football Hall of Fame following an overnight demonstration over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd while in police custody on May 30, 2020, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Volunteers clean up the sidewalk in front of a burned commercial building in Downtown Long Beach, California, on June 1, 2020.

A wonderful act of service. Tampa area football players � including Bengals WR Auden Tate, Bills WR Ray-Ray McCloud, Colts CB Isaiah Rodgers, USF QB Jordan McCloud � lead cleanup efforts on Fowler Ave after last night�s looting pic.twitter.com/5zVOCKYpNA

� Grace Remington (@GraceRemiWTSP) June 1, 2020

A volunteer cleans graffiti off a tree as other volunteers walk nearby a day after looting occurred amid protests on June 1, 2020, in Santa Monica, California.

Volunteers help clean up a day after protests on June 1, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.

Today, we start to put our community back together. Thank you to all of my colleagues and neighbors joining the cleanup effort this morning here in West Philly. pic.twitter.com/HykPFrz5ks

� Councilmember Jamie Gauthier (@CouncilmemberJG) June 1, 2020

People clean up a store on Fairfax Avenue on May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles, California.

Tom Bernard cleans the front of his damaged shop on June 1, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after protests for George Floyd.

THIS is The Bronx- Community led cleanup on Fordham Road pic.twitter.com/SaIxhAMpBK

� BX Community Board 6 (@BronxCB6) June 2, 2020

Volunteers and store owners clean up damage done to their stores after demonstrations followed by unrest protesting the murder of George Floyd, on May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. 

People clean up the street following a day of demonstration in a call for justice for George Floyd, who died while in custody of the Minneapolis police, on May 30, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Scenes from cleanup on State Street in Madison this am, hundreds of people sweeping, scrubbing graffiti pic.twitter.com/ndnaHBvwEE

� Katelyn Ferral (@katelynferral) May 31, 2020

Volunteers help cleanup from an overnight clash between protesters and law enforcement at the Ferguson Police Department on May 31, 2020, in Ferguson, Missouri.

Volunteers help to clean up the exterior of a Forever 21 retail location on the day after violent protests due to the recent death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020, in Seattle, Washington.

City crews and volunteers are out this morning supporting cleanup efforts downtown. We�d like to thank everyone for pitching in to help! If you�re out volunteering, please be careful! Some windows are in fragile condition and could cause harm. pic.twitter.com/8OtCt8AQE7

� City of San Antonio�+�=� (@COSAGOV) May 31, 2020

Do you have any photos of people volunteering and cleaning up locally? If so, share them below!

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