On a windy Wednesday evening, local protesters filled the sidewalks of downtown Laramie wearing masks and holding signs with messages like, "Black Lives Matter" and "Silence = Violence."
After gathering downtown, protestors divided into two groups and marched up both sides of Grand Avenue for 15 blocks, staying on the sidewalk. The night before, organizers said several trucks drove by in an antagonistic way and rolled coal—a loud revving of the engine that emits sooty exhaust fumes into the air.
Timberly Vogel, president of the Black Student Alliance at the University of Wyoming, said she was impressed by how many people showed up—given it was a lot larger than previous turnouts.
"I've done marches. I've done protests. I've done it all in Laramie. And [...] I think people are motivated on all sides of the spectrum," she said.
In Laramie at the 2nd night of marches. I’m terrible at measuring crowd size but the fact that this minute+ long video doesn’t capture all the protestors hopefully will help indicate the size. This is bigger than any demonstration I’ve seen in Laramie or WY. pic.twitter.com/zYR2S9p9JO
— Maggie Mullen (@maggiemlln) June 3, 2020
Vogel said she thought it also helped that the protests were organized by a group of citizens, rather than an affiliated group.
"I think that there's sometimes a little bit of identity politics that comes into people partaking into certain things," she said. "We're here for something much bigger than any of us."
There was very little police presence. In a statement on their Facebook page, the Laramie Police Department said it, "vigorously supports all citizens' rights to peacefully demonstrate any cause."
Additional marches are planned for the rest of the week. Demonstrations have also taken place in Casper, Cheyenne, Jackson, Riverton, and other communities across the state in the last week.
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