Peaceful Gathering Saturday Was Just as Advertised


Published on June 6 2020 3:57 pm
Last Updated on June 6 2020 8:57 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The organizers from the Effingham Social Justice Group had said they wanted a peaceful gathering Saturday in downtown Effingham, and the event was just as they had hoped.

Video of our conversation with Matthew Robinson, one of the organizers, after the event

About 500 people turned out on the lawn of the old Courthouse for short speeches, songs, readings, chants and a march around the Courthouse square. The 90-minute event was to show support for those protesting the murder of George Floyd and others, as well as justice for all those who have lost their lives to police brutality, and support for the Black Lives Matter effort. A poignant portion of the gathering was when many of those present laid down on the ground for just shy of nine minutes to replicate the time George Floyd was held on the ground while he died. Names of those who have been victims of brutality were read during those minutes Saturday.

There was a police presence, but officers were positioned so as not to detract from the event. City Police Chief Jason McFarland told our Wayne Moran after the gathering that it couldn't have gone better.

We also broadcast the event in its entirety on Facebook Live, which you can re-watch below.


Video of the peaceful gathering in downtown Effingham Saturday, which saw no issues, and a crowd of over 500.

Posted by 979 XFM on Saturday, June 6, 2020


Although there was a good share of those sporting gray and white hair, the large majority of those gathered were teens and young adults. The Effingham Social Justice Group was only formed this month in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, but has grown quickly especially due to social media.

One of Saturday's organizers, Matthew Robinson, said there are a number of other causes that are being suggested for the Social Justice Group to address.

Here are photos from Saturday's gathering...