HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Cars gathered at Fairgrounds Park sporting signs supporting the Black Lives Matter movement before driving around Hagerstown for the Stand for Black Lives car rally.
Regina Lachmann is one of the organisers who wanted to remind people that the movement and its significance has not died down since the start of the movement in March.
“We wanna make sure that everybody still keeps that fire alive because it’s not just a one time thing, it’s not just an Instagram post, it’s not just an Insta-story, it’s not just a Snapchat. It’s a worldwide movement.”
While this was the third protest put on by Stand for Black Lives: Hagerstown, this was the first event that required participants to stay in their car as the rally moved around the city.”
Organiser Brynn Dao explained that the car rally had a number of benefits for spreading awareness and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. She stated that having participants drive their cars allowed for social distancing and due to the recent spike in cases, this was a safer alternative to an in-person, stationary gathering. She also explained that she and Lachmann wanted to have a longer route for the rally which would have been hindered if participants were on foot.
“We wanna do a longer route. So we wanted to go from here to the north end of Hagerstown and then also to the police department, something you wouldn’t be able to do if you were just walking. We just wanted to make a statement with the cars. I think that’s really important and you know, it keeps the protesters safe as well. They’re in a vehicle so that’s nice and obviously, weather’s not the greatest, so we still get a really great turnout this way.”
Lachemann and Dao both grew up in Hagerstown and began the activist group on Facebook over the summer. Dao stated that while there a lot of great things about the community where she grew up, there are also a number of downfalls as well.
“We have a lot of issues with racism in this community and with ignorance and I think it’s important to bring this national movement to a local community. We can really benefit from it.”
Trevor Willard is a Boonsboro resident who attended other Stand for Black Lives events and was glad to see others standing up for change.
“Standing by in the midst of all of this is absolutely part of the problem. It’s been decades and decades of the same violence and, you know, failures of the system that need to be addressed. Towards the beginning of this specific stage of the movement with George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, it was really easy to feel alone in all this, in supporting systemic change and police reform.”
Willard highlighted that seeing people still coming out to support rallies like the Stand for Black Lives car rally is a “breath of fresh air.”