Downtown Wilmington protests grow in size, end peacefully on sixth day

Protests continue at City Hall in downtown Wilmington. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The sixth night of protests in downtown Wilmington wrapped up Friday night peacefully just before the 9 p.m. curfew.

The crowd started to disperse about 10 minutes before the curfew, and protesters were gone from the steps of City Hall in just minutes.

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Protesters have been protesting not only George Floyd, but a number of others, including Breonna Taylor. Taylor would’ve celebrated her 27th birthday Friday.

“We don’t want things to be like how they are everywhere else,” protester Keylon Armstrong said. “We want to show that we can still be peaceful. That we can make a difference.”

Overall, protests have been peaceful the last several nights. Although Friday was the sixth day of protests downtown, protesters say they have no plans on stopping any time soon.

“It’s beautiful out here,” protester Deanna Williams said. “The crowd gets bigger and bigger every night.”

Some protesters were out since before noon each day, and the crowd seemed to grow as the hours went on. The group also seemed to get bigger each day.

“And it’s important for us to be out here, not only because we’re young, but because we’re white,” Williams said. “We are privileged. It’s important for people of color to know we support them. We’re going to be there for them. We’re going to be their voice. We’re going to stand with them no matter what.”

The protests have brought people of all ages and colors to the streets of Wilmington, many to show their solidarity.

“I know that I can come out here and I don’t have to feel scared like a lot of other people do, and I don’t have to feel scared, and I can walk downtown and I don’t have to feel scared, but that’s the reason I have to come out here,” protester Summer Marshburn-Teneyck said.

The protest Friday night was peaceful through the end. At the end of the night, protesters all took a knee for 9 minutes, repeating the last words George Floyd yelled out over the course of that time before he died.

Protesters say they plan on being back downtown at 7 a.m. Saturday, and will continue protesting in the days to come. The curfew is still in effect indefinitely.