Huntsville labor union organizes protest and says it's time for a conversation

North Alabama Area Labor Council says in order to make change, it's time to talk about racism as a whole.

Posted: Jun 20, 2020 9:27 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 8:19 AM

North Alabama Area Labor Council (AALC) says in order to make change, it's time to talk about racism as a whole.

"Get the message out that Black lives do matter, that racial injustice is rampant and we have to stand up for each other and we have to stand up for change in our nation and in our world," said Ovetta Hobson, the president of the Huntsville chapter for Delta Sigma Theta.

She told us Saturday was declared a day of solidarity by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. That caused her and more than 100 others to join in a peaceful rally in Huntsville.

There were several speakers who discussed ways to bring about the change they're seeking, and it was followed by a march to the Madison County Courthouse.

WAAY 31 spoke with organizers and people there about why they believe it's time to start having some uncomfortable conversations about race and equality.

As nearly 150 people came to listen in on several speakers in the Huntsville community, many also told us it's time to start making a change. They say in order to do that, people must be willing to talk about sensitive topics like racism and unjust police systems.

"I've seen these things before and for me, it's a painful past and it shows just how far we haven't come," said Hobson.

Hobson came to show support at the peaceful rally the North Alabama Area Labor Council organized Saturday evening.

There was music, a time to reflect and a push for a change, not just in Huntsville but across the nation. While the organizers say daily protests are important, the AALC says it's time for the next phase.

"Another way is to peacefully assemble and start dialogue that leads towards solving what we think the problem is, and that's the lack of oversight in police departments nationwide," said Bob McManus.

After speakers from the NAACP and even criminal justice reform spoke, everyone marched around the courthouse, saying no more.

Hobson says she's thankful she's alive to see a change starting to come and hopes people will keep the pressure on those who need to listen.

"These protests, these rallies, how we're coming together as a community, it will not be repeated. The winds of change are blowing, and it is my belief that this nation will be reborn," she said.

We've seen across the nation how things have changed with police reform, and people like Hobson hope it will continue and we can keep educating one another and not just talking past one another.

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