Over 50 people attended the protest for justice for Vanessa Guillen at the State Capitol in Raleigh on 7/25/20, between 5pm and 7pm, but organizers reported closer to 80 people by the end at 8pm. Here is a summary with pictures, also including a few of the many speeches and a poem that was performed. This was one of 3 protests for Vanessa Guillen that we know about that day. Protesters were flattened along the sidewalk due to fencing around the State Capitol grounds.
People chanted and marched and spoke about what happened to #Vanessa Guillen and what needs to be done to prevent other soldiers from suffering the same fate. After the speeches, we marched around the Capitol some more, and then gathered on Morgan St. to chant again. In the 3 hour period, while some people were leaving, many more were arriving. This is the main protesting block at the NC State Capitol from 5pm-8pm on 7/25/20, and there are some more to the left that couldn’t fit in the picture.
The protest was planned from 5pm to 8pm. This picture was taken at 5:30pm, People are chanting on Morgan St, in front of State Capitol in Raleigh. CBS-17 interviewed organizers and speakers before the event. See CBS-17 coverage on Youtube here.
The picture below shows one of the organizers speaking, Micaela Aguilar. This protest was organized mainly by 4 Latinas who are about the same age as Vanessa Guillen. Aguilar (with microphone) is 22 years old.
Protesters were spread out wide due to fencing blocking Capitol ground restricting us to sidewalk, and also the need to stay apart due to pandemic safety restrictions. Some of this group stayed for whole event. Many more people came after 7pm.
There were words of wisdom and prayers with Pastor Edgar A. Vergara Millan, who opened and closed the speech section, and translated when necessary. There were planned speeches – Micaela Aguilar, who was one of the organizers (pictured earlier in article); Captain Erin Scanlon (Retired); NC NOW President Gailya Paliga (Paliga speech here). Some other protesters felt moved to speak and were given that opportunity. CAP Erin Scanlon was invited to speak at this event because she has her own story of problems military interference in her sexual assault case at Ft Bragg. Scanlon focused her speech on Vanessa Guillen and support of this protest in Raleigh.
Poem shared with permission of Jocelyn Hunter.
SILENCE, By Jocelyn Hunter
Shhhh let’s have a moment of silence
To the young soul
That won’t be able to grow old
To her family that once was whole
Who now holds a dark hole
Shhhh let’s have a moment of silence
To the soldier that was killed by an unspoken violence
In order to keep her silent
To the woman who served with others to protect, but yet accompanied by them she wasn’t protected
To her being too afraid to speak against that man cause he wouldn’t be corrected
To the evidence that was collected
That seems to be defected
To the questions asked that are deflected
To the women that speak their truths but are neglected
To those who have been threatened or molested
To the prevention plan that’s ineffective
To the Justice that is requested
To the wrongs that we protested
Shhh let’s have a moment of silence
Because they want us to be silent
But the silence has lasted for long enough
Let them know they can no longer silence us
Let us speak so loud that the world can hear
Let them know the name Vanessa and others that have lived in fear
The ones that they tried to silence
Let them know that women are not objects to be owned
But they are individuals of their own
Who should be left alone
And not subjected to some else’s sex hormone
Let us be loud
Let us draw in crowds
Let us speak volumes for Vanessa a beautiful being
That was beaten until she was bleeding
Until the life from her body was leaving
Let us be loud for her family that is grieving
Let us be loud for the women pleading
To be heard
Let’s amplify their words
Let them hear what we protest for
Let them know we cannot be silenced anymore
I love this sign in the next picture. “We Are Vanessa’s Army.” The lady with the Vanessa sign traveled two hours to join this protest. Here is another Mexican Flag at the protest. See how the colors of the flag are worked in to some signs.
Fort Hood is called Fort Death because so many soldiers go missing from there, like Vanessa Guillen and the other Fort Hood soldier whose body was before hers, Gregory Wedel Morales.
The boy has a sign in solidarity with Vanessa Guillen’s mother, Gloria. Your fight is my fight.
This man has a collage sign. On the left sign with the flags, it says “Justice For Vanessa Guillen” and “The people united will never be defeated.” On the right side it says more things “She could’ve been your daughter/mother/sister. Vanessa Guillen.