CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Leaders at Emanuel AME Church hosted a unity march on Sunday to unite the community and honor the Emanuel 9, Walter Scott, and countless others.
A couple hundred people peacefully marched from the Maritime Center to Mother Emanuel where speakers, including family members of the Emanuel 9 and Walter Scott, addressed the crowd.
Before the speakers began, the church bells tolled. One chime for each of the nine victims of the massacre.
“The hatred was so great and the pain was so great,” said Anthony Scott, the brother of Walter Scott. “Why would someone do that to people in bible study. Unbelievable. Shoot somebody running away. Unbelievable.”
Honoring all the lives lost was just one point of Sunday’s unity march.
The other goal was to demand change.
“Well, the goal today is to once again to continue to highlight the amount of disparities that impact the black community and make sure our voices continue to be heard,” said Reverend Eric Manning, of Emanuel AME Church.
Speakers recognize the changes already starting to happen, like Confederate monuments being taken down, but say that until there is liberty and justice for all they will continue to fight.
Many who addressed the marchers also encouraged the group to vote in any and all elections and to support candidates who will push for change.
Two messages rang out at the event. ‘No justice, no peace’ was used as a rallying cry, while ‘Charleston Strong’ was said to remind community members to spread love.
“It is refreshing when the city can put aside all of its differences to come together and unite in love and in solidarity,” said Reverend Manning.
Although this is the first unity march hosted by the church, Reverend Manning said it certainly won’t be the last.