The organizer of Tuesday’s unofficial Black Lives Matter protest in Highland Village called the rally a success and is planning another one for Thursday.
Juan Coronel works in Highland Village and said he wanted to hold the protest in Highland Village because of the “privileged nature” of the area.
“I want to open the eyes of the people who live there, and I want them to come fight for justice and equality,” Coronel said, adding that he specifically supports the “defunding of militarization of police, and putting that money back into the community so black people can thrive.”
The protest drew more than 100 people, “much better than expected,” Coronel said. It was originally supposed to take place in front of the Whole Foods store in The Shops at Highland Village, but Shops management asked the group to move, so they moved over to public property in the northeast corner of FM 407 and FM 2499.
“Everyone came away with a really good feeling about it,” Coronel said. “We felt empowered, we felt community.”
The Highland Village Police Department had an increased presence in the area, but the entire event went smoothly.
“Last night, we had the opportunity to share our grief, disbelief, and disappointment with various people who gathered in protest over the death of George Floyd,” the police department said in a social media post Wednesday. “These are truly difficult times and we are truly thankful for the peaceful and rightful expressions of the group and all the people who were part of it in some way. We can only hope this example of a ‘protest’ becomes the model for those to follow.”
Coronel said he’s planning another protest in the same place on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. He said this time, he’s expecting about 150 people and there will be two speakers.
“We’re going to stay on that corner and make sure our voice is heard,” he said.