Protesters gather in remembrance of Tony Robinson

Roughly 100 people participated in march on State Street to remind community of 19-year-old's death, impact on city

· Mar 4, 2016 Tweet

Putting BLM in your Twitter bio isn't all that helpful
Marissa Haegele/The Badger Herald

Protesters gathered Friday afternoon to demonstrate in memory of Tony Robinson, who was fatally shot by Madison Police Department Officer Matt Kenny roughly one year ago.

Around 100 protesters assembled on Library Mall and marched up State Street toward the Capitol, stopping at each busy intersection for moments of silence and spirited chants.

Before beginning the march, participants listened to speeches from key figures in Madison’s Young, Gifted and Black Coalition and the UW Blackout Movement.

Tony Robinson’s death: a portrait of a life ended, a life halted, a community unitedSaturday morning, a team of three Madison police officers stood outside the house at 1125 Williamson Street on the Near Read…

“We are dark; we are melanin,” Kenneth Cole, an organizer from UW Blackout, told the crowd. “But we are strong. We’re here to show those who think they can shoot us down because of our melanin that they’re wrong.”

Demonstrators marched up State Street chanting, “Who did they kill? Tony Robinson,” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go,” among other refrains.

Traffic congestion ensued at each intersection, and long lines of buses formed on State Street while protesters blocked traffic. MPD officers went from bus to bus briefing drivers on the situation and formed a perimeter between the demonstrators and motorists.

The march culminated in a brief occupation of the Overture Center. Protesters chanted and sang in the performing arts center’s central atrium before hearing speeches.

Explaining the reason for ending the march at the Overture Center, Brandi Grayson, a YGB Coalition co-founder, said the building is symbolic of the city’s “skewed” priorities.

“We refuse to invest in people, but we invest in buildings — we invest in prisons, we invest in performing arts centers,” she said. “The Overture Center is very symbolic of what our priorities are as a community.”

Protesters raised their fists and chanted the word “power” one last time before dispersing shortly after 6 p.m.

Grayson later said the primary goal of the march was to remind the community that Robinson will never be forgotten.

“What we want people to know is that we will not forget Tony Robinson,” Grayson said. “We will not forget the day that his life was taken by a Madison police officer. We will not go silent in the night and we will not accept their justification of legality. We know based on the private investigation and all sorts of other information that he was murdered, and we will not let people forget that.”


This article was published Mar 4, 2016 at 9:23 pm and last updated Sep 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm


UW-Madison's Premier Independent Student Newspaper

All Content © The Badger Herald, 1995 - 2023