On June 29th, a meeting was scheduled at the West Palm Beach City Hall to talk about the usual topics. However, in recent events, another pressing concern has made its way up to the podium: activists' rights to peaceful protest in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. However, as activists and leaders convened at the Commission Chamber, they were surprised to find that Mayor Keith James and the commissioners of the five districts were not present. In a bid to increase protection against covid-19 spreading, the city leaders were instead conducting the meeting through Zoom.
Two projectors streamed the scattered screens of the Mayor and the Commissioners into the room. As the meeting was underway the usual budget and infrastructure were first to be discussed. Once matters turned towards the activists, those who were to speak were ushered into a separate room to speak their minds.
Speaking through a computer, activists aired their grievances with the city leaders. Condemning the actions used by police at previous protests, from the mace, rubber bullets, and other aggressive uses of force. One by one activist took their turns speaking, yelling, or using their 3 minutes to hold a moment of silence for those killed at the hands of police.
At points solemn and others loud, the activists made their points known to the city leaders before their time ticked by and the next one went to the podium. At times the city leaders defended their actions, making it known that their mission was and is to keep the city safe and unified, a sentiment that activists did not feel was the truth.
As this happened, activists and supporters still seated in the Commission Chamber watched the meeting unfold and come to an end. With it, activists left city hall in step, ready for another battle to come.