SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – As the fiery and emotional protests intensify on the streets of Baltimore, local activists are prepping their own march.
“We’re here because there’s been no justice, because the system is broken, because people are fed up,” activist Berry Accius said.
Accius is in Sacramento to organize a local march to show solidarity with the Baltimore rioters – who he doesn’t call rioters at all.
“How are they rioters? They’re people that are standing up for justice,” Accius said.
Accius says the ongoing unrest is bigger than Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody, and it’s always been bigger than Michael Brown of Ferguson or Eric Garner of New York.
“We cannot come to the table if the person will not admit fault,” Accius said.
But Pastor Les Simmons of South Sacramento Christian Church, who was in Ferguson during violent protests, says police in many communities are making effort.
“They’ve shown commitment to getting cameras, commitment to continuing to proceed with training,” Simmons said.
Only, he emphasizes the conversation must continue.
“I can’t say the riots are helping the matter, but it certainly represents the voice of a lot of people,” Simmons said.
So, Monday afternoon, as rioters torched police cars and a CVS store in Baltimore, Simmons met with Sacramento’s police chief about coming to the table with the community – a new effort to “bridge the gap.”
“What you see with riots are people that have been silenced speaking out and we have to listen close to really hear it,” Simmons said.
Meanwhile, Accius believes his upcoming march will get lawmakers to listen, and Pastor Simmons believes his upcoming town hall will show local leaders are actually listening.