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CT – GUN RIGHTS – Armed Black protestors march in Hartford’s North End to advocate for Black gun ownership

A group of armed Black and brown gun owners marched on Albany Avenue in Hartford Saturday morning, asserting their right to bear arms to protect their communities and their families in a society they said devalues Black lives and persecutes Black people who legally own guns. About 40 to 50 people, including white allies, marched east from Woodland Street to Main Street in a loud but peaceful hourlong rally that drew supportive honks, shouts and upraised fists from motorists and residents of the predominantly Black North End thoroughfare. Protestors of color walked in the street as four police cars and four police bicycles kept traffic at bay. White allies walked on the sidewalks, giving the street to the people whose neighborhood it was. All guns were holstered and out of sight, to avoid anyone being charged with brandishing. “We’re walking with Colt 45 and Smith & Wesson,” said Cornell Lewis, who organized the demonstration with his organization, Self Defense Brigade. Lewis said the point of the rally was not to show guns, but to inform Black people of the need to own guns, due to endemic police killings of Black people, crimes against Black people that are not investigated thoroughly and the rise of white supremacist groups. “Now it is time to come together and observe our Second Amendment rights,” Lewis said. “If the United States government won’t protect us, we’ll protect ourselves. If America doesn’t want to give us freedom and justice, we’re going to take it.  [full article]

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