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Black Lives Matter rallies continue in Boise

From left: Zia Seide, along with Lawson Miller, 4; Ben Miller; Gretchen Miller, 7; Zara Seide, 7; and Zelly Seide, 9, attend Boise’s Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday.
From left: Zia Seide, along with Lawson Miller, 4; Ben Miller; Gretchen Miller, 7; Zara Seide, 7; and Zelly Seide, 9, attend Boise’s Black Lives Matter rally on Saturday. nblanchard@idahostatesman.com

Around 150 people gathered at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise on Saturday morning for a Black Lives Matter rally, which follows two similar events last weekend.

Victoria Noir, one of the rally’s organizers, said she and others are working to establish an official Black Lives Matter chapter in Boise. Noir said the rally Saturday, much like one held July 9, was meant to show support for other cities and states dealing with incidents of police violence toward black people.

“We have people here from all different backgrounds, and all lives matter, but right now the black community needs help,” Noir said, adding that Idaho voices can effect change. “I think Idaho is really quiet when it comes to cultural issues, so when we do speak that voice can make a difference.”

On the steps of the Statehouse, a procession of speakers shared memorials for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two black men shot by police officers last week, and relayed stories of their own fears as people of color and experiences with local law enforcement. Though some said they had experienced racial profiling or been beaten at the hands of police, there were also nods to the work local police do and acknowledgement of the five Dallas police officers shot during a peaceful BLM protest last week.

“Boise has been a great community as far as our police force goes, but we’re not going to tolerate (violence) if it happens,” Noir said.

At several points during the rally, a white man disrupted speakers by shouting “all lives matter,” “police lives matter” and by calling attendees “terrorists.”

Following several speeches, the crowd navigated its way through barriers set up for Saturday’s Twilight Criterium bicycle race to march through the streets of Downtown Boise.

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