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Organizers postpone protest in downtown Cumming
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Update (Aug. 19, 10:55 a.m.): Organizers postponed the Black Lives Matter protest originally scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday in downtown Cumming in an abundance of caution after a spike in COVID-19 cases in Georgia.

Olivia Melton, a Forsyth County resident, planned the protest with a friend to try to keep the conversation surrounding racial injustice in the community and in the U.S. going as they said the movement has started to die down.

"As much as we want to keep the conversation going, we want to keep our community safe even more," Melton said.

Melton said that she is thinking of rescheduling the protest for later next month, but she said that the date is dependent on the number of coronavirus cases and the safety of the community.


Forsyth County residents plan to have a Black Lives Matter protest in front of the Forsyth County Courthouse in downtown Cumming at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, to try to keep the conversation surrounding racial injustice alive in the community. 

Olivia Melton, along with a friend and co-worker, organized the protest “to further elevate the voices of the Black men and women in our community,” she said in a statement to the Forsyth County News. 

Milton said that she wants to remind others in Forsyth of the importance of addressing issues of racial injustice in the county and in the U.S. She feels conversations surrounding race have started to die down after the initial protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in May. 

Forsyth County United, an online group created to rally against police brutality, held a protest in downtown Cumming in June, surprising many in the community with a turnout of approximately 900 protestors. 

The group has since organized other protests in surrounding communities, but another protest has not been held in Cumming for more than two months.  

“[We] organized this out of the blue just because you know we were at work one day and we were kind of thinking, ‘Hey, we haven’t heard of anymore protests around Cumming or anything like that,’” Milton said. “I didn’t know any of the people who organized the previous one, so we just figured instead of trying to ask other people to organize one, we would just go ahead and do it ourselves.” 

Milton said that she has worked with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to organize the protest, and officers will be present in downtown Cumming on Friday. Her permit for the event has been approved by the county, and it is scheduled to end at 7:30 p.m. 

The organizers plan to provide disposable face masks, snacks and water to everyone who decides to attend. Milton also stressed that anyone planning on coming out should come prepared with extra water and sunscreen to keep themselves safe and hydrated. 

“While a lot of progress has been made, unfortunately the momentum has died down,” Milton said. “The police officers that killed Breonna Taylor have yet to be charged with her murder. People of color in our community still face prejudice and discrimination on a daily basis.  

“One of our main goals is to encourage civil discourse between members of the community. We want to educate the white community on the systemic inequality that is still prevalent in our society.  

“Furthermore, we want the white community to be able to recognize the common microaggressions and stereotypes used to further separate our communities. We as a nation need to keep this conversation going until real change has occurred within this country.”