Marion Square protest includes call for nonviolence, care packages

United People Against Inequality held a peaceful protest Friday morning in Marion Square.

Peaceful demonstrations in Marion Square have been pretty routine over the past couple weeks in the aftermath of multiple police-involved shootings of black males.

But members of United People Against Inequality, the latest group to bring their signs to the downtown landmark, want their message to be clear: They’re not protesting against police but against all of the recent shootings across the country.

“Killing doesn’t end killing, and violence doesn’t end violence,” group member Cory Johnson said during Friday’s protest. “We don’t wish retaliation on any police, especially the Charleston police who have been very kind to us.”

Before the protest started, the group spent the morning passing out care packages to the homeless, gave thank-you gifts to police, and passed out voter registration forms.

Massive public outcries have arisen around the country in response to fatal police shootings of black males in Louisiana and Minnesota during the first week of the month, and another one in Florida on Monday.

On July 7, five police officers were killed by a sniper and nine more were injured in Dallas. Then, on July 17, three officers were killed and three more were injured in Baton Rouge, La.

Since several of the shootings have been captured on video, Johnson said it’s important for the public to acknowledge the evidence and seek a change.

“We’re not going out with the intent of disrupting anyone’s day,” Johnson added. “But these are issues that need to be addressed and so that’s why we’re here.”

Reach Derrek Asberry at 843-937-5517. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.