By Stephanie Leone (FNTV freedomnews.tv)
Hundreds of locals gathered for a ”Peaceful Walk Protest” in Bahama Village and marched their way down Key West’s famed Duval Street. Mayor Teri Johnston and Chief of Police, Sean Brandenburg, showed their support not only in their speeches but also in their presence. The planned peaceful walk to fight racial injustice did not once turn toward a moment of violence or looting. Organizers asked locals to ”please come out and walk for Justice, Freedom, and Equality as ONE HUMAN FAMILY.” The City of Key West’s official motto—One Human Family—rang true at tonight’s protests packed with locals of all races. The night ended with a drum circle of chanting where black community members came forward to share their pain and fear of living in a country brimming with systemic racism. Community leaders like Aton Lopez additionally hope to tackle the biggest problem facing Key West’s black community—affordable housing. Key West’s Bahamian community is being bought out by snowbirds from the North with no way to afford to stay on the island afterward because of the lack of housing. Shouting “Black Lives Matters” protesters marched past the thirty-something newly emptied storefronts on Duval on the same day as the Florida Keys’ reopening to tourists. With the added stress of the pandemic and a primarily tourism-based economy, it’s clear Key West locals of all races and their economy have an uphill battle to stay afloat.