Umbrellas and fists raised for justice and peace in Sarasota

A peaceful and powerful demonstration in Sarasota Wednesday went on despite downpours.

The protesters gathered outside the police department before marching to city hall, where they kneeled, each holding a fist in the air on one hand and an umbrella with the other.

The rain started just after 1 in downtown Sarasota and was heavy at times, and the rain did not stop the demonstrators from having their voices heard.

When the first gathered, organizers made it clear: they expected a peaceful demonstration.

Through the peace came their message of change. They asked leaders to help bring about an end to racism and called for equal treatment from local law enforcement for the community.

Activist Walter Gilbert was among the protesters. He has seen many battles for change. This time, he says, a younger generation is getting on board.

“There’s always hope. That’s what keeps the fire burning, you know what I mean?” Gilbert said. “Without hope the fire goes out and we get nothing and go nowhere, for all the people who came before me, people of my generation, that’s what we lived off of.”

With days of rain ahead, the fire in Sarasota appears to burn on.