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'We Are Forcing Them To Listen' Protest Organizers Say Despite The Chauvin Verdict, Their Work Continues

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Those who took to the streets in Chicago over George Floyd's death are pleased and relieved.

Protesters said the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict showed their work was not in vain, but they're telling CBS 2's Steven Graves their work is far from over.

One of those huge protests was held at Daley Plaza last summer. Expect the same this year as protesters, specifically young people, say they are finding their voice. And realizing it has power.

When it came to protests over George Floyd's killing last summer.

"We're all we've got. We're all we've got," said Jai Simpson.

Taylore Norwood and Jai Simpson organized and participated in too many to count.

"Just being able to get people out and support the cause, that's a lot of power right there," said Simpson of the organization GoodKids MadCity.

And that power of protest played out in the thousands who chanted and held signs in Chicago and across the nation. All of it – unapologetic.

"They understood that yet another Black man had been murdered by the police. And that usually nothing happens. And so now we are forcing them to listen," said Norwood of GoodKids MadCity.

Simpson said it clearly played out in the conviction of Derek Chauvin.

"You have to do something," Simpson said. "Because if all of these people are protesting, just imagine all the people who are going to be protesting if they don't show him guilty."

While Norwood said there's a bigger picture to consider.

"They definitely gave us Chauvin and not the root of the problem," Norwood said.

The root of the problem, she said, not the officers, but the the system itself. Ashley Munson cried once in relief of hearing the Chauvin guilty verdict.

"The second reason I cried was because we still have a lot of work to do," said Munson, Lead Organizer of the group  March For Us.

She arranged a massive peaceful Juneteenth Rally in Chicago after seeing the rioting in Chicago.

"Rioting has played a big part in history and movements. And while somethings I don't condone and won't condone, but I can't condemn someone on how they respond to anger. And a lot of people are angry," Munson said.

It's not lost on Munson and others that the power of protest has played out over history. She thinks this time, the world had no choice but to listen during a year like no other with COVID and the need for unity.

"It's important we continue that legacy of Dr. King, and Malcolm X and all the people that came before us," Munson said.

These young people said social media played a big part as well. Some goals for them continue to be abolishing police and funding community programs. As well as making Juneteenth a national, paid holiday.


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