Collier Youth for Black Lives protests outside county commissioners meeting

Collier Youth for Black Lives, an organization focused on the protection and uplifting of black people, was hoping to take the spotlight away from the mask debate at Tuesday’s Collier County Commissioners meeting.

“Growing up black here is kind of eye-opening,” said Christopher President, one of the protestors with Collier Youth for Black Lives.

For President and about 30 others who showed up to the Collier County Government Complex, this protest was personal. The group was hoping to shed light on the number of funds being allocated to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office and possibly redirect those funds to other government services.

“We’re not necessarily against them, we’re just against, you know, their overwhelming and unnecessary presence and the multiple hats they wear in our community that don’t belong to them,” Tharina Oris said.

Protesters used religion, art, or just the writing on their signs to speak for them all in an effort to get their point across and get their voices heard.

“Everybody, including myself, has to get our voices out because eventually if we keep on saying our pleas and what we want, they can’t ignore it, they will hear, it will be stuck in their mind. And then eventually they will do something about it,” President said.

They know it’s probably not likely today or in the near future but the important thing is to get the message out there and spread awareness.

“Considering how many people are pushing for this and considering the budget reflects nothing of what we want, I hope that they actually listen to the people they’re supposed to be serving,” said Oris.

Reporter:Rachel Cox-Rosen
Writer:Drew Hill
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