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Unity March continues the message of coming together

Sunday evening community members in Picayune marched from Snyder Park to J.P. Johnson Park shouting call and response chants like “No justice, no peace.”

The Unity March, organized by Yune-ify, was meant to promote equality and bring unity to the community, said organizer Kesslar Porche.

Marchers carried a banner that said Yune-ify with the word love spelled out beneath it in hand symbols. A man with a megaphone led chants. Police vehicles cleared the way in front of marchers and followed behind them.

“It went well,” said Porche. “I think we’re accomplishing our goals. We’re trying to bring more people together in one-ness, spreading love, being there for one another in hard times, spreading positivity, positive knowledge.”

The marchers want to see people of different races and backgrounds come together as one, said Porche.

After marching down Rosa Street, the group shared refreshments at J.P. Johnson Park, where the community members could also register to vote.

Picayune has seen many protests and rallies centered on equality, unity and racism since the summer began. June brought a month of Black Lives Matter protests in front of the post office on Highway 11, sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Medical professionals took a knee for nine minutes on June 5 in front of Highland Community Hospital to honor Floyd and demonstrate their commitment to improving healthcare for people of color. In early June local leaders shared messages of love and hope at a Prayers for Peace event meant to honor victims of police brutality and a Unity Rally was held in Jack Read Park in mid-June to encourage the community to come together.