'No arrests, no violence' during march for minority groups’ safety, rights

Protesters walk from Piedmont Park to Centennial Olympic Park. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Protesters walk from Piedmont Park to Centennial Olympic Park. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

"No arrests, no violence" Atlanta police officer Lukasz Sajdak said shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday as hundreds of protesters ended their march at Piedmont Park.

The group began with roughly 150 people about 8 p.m., marking the fourth night of demonstrations in Atlanta since the presidential election Nov. 8.

The group formed on Facebook by Motley Rose is calling for an evening of non-violence and unity for those who feel their rights are endangered.

Families took part as marchers headed toward Centennial Olympic Park, regrouped and started back to Piedmont Park about 10 p.m. They followed Peachtree Street through the downtown area, many yelling "Dump Trump" and using #NotMyPresident on Twitter.

The event organizers said: “We aim to continue the series of protest/marches throughout Atlanta, which have occurred throughout the past week. And our ultimate goal is to promote the safety of minority groups and their rights in the wake of the hatred which is spreading across our country.”

Paul Kelleher, an associate professor of English at Emory University and self-procalimed activist, said for him the protest "reaffirms the inherently American principles of free expression, moral courage and civic participation."

Protesters shared the vision of sharing a message of unity.

Melanie Kovach, who described herself as a professional woman and a mother, said she protested Friday and came back out Wednesday to help tell those who feel targeted, invalidated and marginalized by the results of this election that they are not alone.

"The Donald was openly racist, misogynistic and xenophobic during his campaign," Kovach said. "I march to help tell the world that the majority of us are not on board with this madness."

Only 26 percent of eligible voters decided the election and Kovach said that isn't OK with her and the hundreds standing together against hate.

"It also sends a loud-and-clear message to the President-elect and his followers," Kelleher added. "We protesters are not 'crybabies,' as they have claimed. We are American citizens, and we have a voice."

According to the Facebook post about the event, more than 700 people planned to march.

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