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Protestors gather for a Black Lives Matter rally throughout Millersville Borough on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Stopping traffic as they marched, a group of more than 200 protesters moved along Millersville Borough streets Sunday afternoon, chanting to decry racism as they moved from Comet Field to the local municipal building.

And from his driveway on Wabank Road, a man waved a flag that halted the procession.

“Trump 2020,” it read.

The protesters’ response: repeated chants of “No racist president.”

During the tense moment, Jerona Rokins, who has helped lead protests in Lancaster city, reminded the crowd: “We come in peace; we don't come in violence.”

The call for peace has been a refrain of demonstrations across Lancaster County and nationwide since the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. Protests continued throughout the county over the weekend, including several Sunday.

Omar Ibrahim, of Mount Joy, said Millersville’s protest was the first he’s attended in Lancaster County. He said he experienced racism while a student at Donegal High School.

“We need our white allies to do more than us,” Ibrahim said.

About 22 miles northwest, Nancy Warble walked toward Elizabethtown Borough Park, where a Black Lives Matter rally was scheduled. She looked into the distance to the few people standing near the park’s amphitheater.

“Is this it?” Warble asked of the quiet scene, which remained reserved despite eventually growing to more than 100 people.

There was no marching and little chanting.

Instead, speakers took turns at a megaphone, sharing words of inclusivity while calling for an end to racism and police brutality. It was an intentionally tame event set up to give protesters a relaxed platform, community activist Tiara Wolfe, of Rheems, said.

“We are in a very conservative area, and hate speaks loud,” she said of Lancaster County.

Warble held a piece of cardboard scrawled with the message “Black Lives Matter.”

“I think what’s happening has just been horrible,” she said of U.S. police officers repeatedly killing unarmed black people.

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Kellye McMillion of Lititz, speaks as she takes part in the Black Lives Matter rally in Elizabethtown Borough Park on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Like most in attendance at the Elizabethtown rally, Warble is white — a fact that wasn’t lost to Kellye McMillion, of Lititz, a black woman.

McMillion was thankful for the support but wondered if others could understand her experience, namely the racism she’s experienced since she was a child. Only broad systemic reform will effect change, she said.

McMillion asked her fellow protesters to keep long-standing racism in mind when they chant the names of black people killed by police. The names are only from recent history, not the decades that preceded it.

“There are hundreds, thousands more,” she said.

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Community members take part in the Black Lives Matter rally in the square in Strasburg on Sunday, June 14, 2020.

Less than 30 miles southeast in Strasburg, local resident Stephen Burton said much the same, encouraging white protesters to educate themselves and to learn about the experiences of their black neighbors.

“We all love the same way,” he said, speaking at the mostly quiet protest, accompanied by a woman softly beating a hand drum and vehicles honking in solidarity as they passed the intersection of East Main and South Decatur streets.

Amaya Creekmur, 17, and her mother, Arlette, thanked protesters for coming.

“We stand together, united,” Arlette Creekmur said, near tears. “We will rise.”


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