ANNA, Ill./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Before sundown on Thursday around 150 protesters marched down the main street in Anna, Illinois, past Bob’s Tavern, Oasis of Grace Church, Douglas Skating Rink and Casey’s General Store holding homemade signs and chanting “black lives matter.”.
Joe Plemon, 73, an elder at the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, said he had prepared several Bible passages - laments - to read at the protest.
About a half-hour north in Carbondale, Illinois, two other young organizers - sisters Adah, 16, and Maat Mays, 18 - came up with the idea of staging a vigil on Sunday in their small town of 25,000 while watching live Instagram feeds of demonstrations in Minneapolis.
“When the protests started in the larger cities, I thought, ‘I am not in a big city but I can still bring awareness and find a way to honor the names of the people who have been killed by the police,’” said Maat Mays.
“This runs contrary to the ideas that people have about small towns,” Friesen said, “That we are all hicks and we don’t care about what is happening.”.
Reporting by Brian Munoz in Anna and Carbondale, Illinois, and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis
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