MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There’s a renewed call for change in Miami-Dade from protesters. On Labor Day, they met up to not only honor George Floyd but also to say they want more done in South Florida.
Protesters figured out a way to get their voices heard and demand change on the streets of Miami Monday. Originally, they tried to march but couldn’t block traffic without a permit. So, they got in their cars for a caravan.
“People want to portray us as radicals or extremists but we are fighting for the most basic American value which is justice and equality,” Eleazar Melendez said.
Eleazar Melendez is a co-founder of a new group called “Justice For Miami.” It’s an effort to unite other advocates so together they can take to the streets and call for change.
“So many people came here from dictatorships where the number one thing they do to you is they don’t let you talk about what needs to change in the government,” the organizer said.
Melendez and other groups decided to meet Monday. That’s because it’s been a little more than 100 days since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On top of commemorating his death, they also feel not enough has changed in Miami-Dade.
“We have seen people demand funding for racial justice and social justice in the past few weeks at the county and the commissioners there basically laughed at them,” Melendez said.
County commissioners recently approved bringing back a citizens review panel that could look into closed internal affairs cases. Also, Miami-Dade police have banned chokeholds. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office says it’s committed to being fair while also holding people with power accountable.
One protestor was arrested and accused of blocking traffic. Melendez says that’s not the man’s first time being booked during a protest.
“We hope that the state attorney has made a commitment to drop all charges against protesters that are nonviolent, will follow through with that,” Melendez said.
Since Melendez and others feel like more has to get done, he told us their work is not over.
“We are not going away. These issues are important,” Melendez said.
Protesters originally had plans to march in Wynwood and Downtown Miami. But after being informed they didn’t have a permit, an hour later that’s when they started the caravan.