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Thousands gather Friday in Bozeman to demand racial equality

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Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-06 13:18:08-04

Thousands of people are coming together to fight for racial equality not just around the world, but right here in Bozeman. "Black lives matter! Black lives matter," exclaimed protesters.

For many protesters on Friday, it wasn’t just about having their voices heard but it was also a learning experience.

“I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t know the depth of it. You know living here and growing up in Montana, it’s not something that I really know about. But as I listen to people talk I am appalled. I am hurt and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know how deep this problem goes,” said one protester.

And for many minority residents in Bozeman, the support was overwhelming.

“It makes me want to cry. I am so proud of absolutely everybody out here, and I absolutely love and appreciate all of the support for the black community,” another protestor explained.

There were a lot of rumors going around of anti-protestors gearing up to meet marchers, and while there were a couple of people with opposing views present, things remained peaceful.

There was a group present, not associated with law enforcement, who said they were only there to make sure it was peaceful.

“I’m just coming to see what’s going on and hope everything stays peaceful and nothing gets broken and making sure everybody’s being respectful of each other. I just want everybody to be safe on both sides,” a participant explained.

But the message from protesters was clear.

“If you’re not seeing that the black community is hurting then like you should be outraged, and if not you’re not paying attention,” a protestor explained.

“It’s important to make sure you stand up for what’s right, no matter your color," another chimed in.

"It’s a great opportunity to finally take a stand. There’s a lot out there that’s not right, not just, and it’s great to be out here having a voice with everybody else,” another protestor said.

The march ended at the Gallatin County Couthouse and remained peaceful throughout. Organizers say it was the biggest rally in Bozeman's history.