Organizers of peaceful local protests speak out against demonstration that turned violent
Organizers of the peaceful protest from Saturday at Century II in downtown Wichita spoke out Tuesday against demonstration near 21st and Arkansas the night before in which a breakout of violence led to damage at least one business, two arrests and three Wichita police officers receiving treatment for minor injuries.
"The right way is the peaceful way. What I stood for was unity, not vandalism," said Dr. Willie Scott Jr. who joined Antonio Orona, representing Wichita United in organizing the peaceful protests Saturday and Sunday in the city.
Neither Scott nor Orona organized Monday night's demonstration that turned violent. They said every protest in Wichita should be well-organized and peaceful.
"We cannot riot and destroy the very homes and the places that we have to go back to," Scott said. "We're mad at police for creating hostile environments, what better are we to do the same thing ourselves and put our children in those same types of environments?"
Orona spent Tuesday afternoon helping to clean up the area near 21st and Arkansas and is taking steps to help make repairs.
"We have some people come out here to get some donations or help us clean up, anything anyone can help us do," he said.
Scott and Orona said they understand people are angry, but they should channel that anger in a productive way.
"We have to put it into voting. We have to show up at city council meetings. We have to change these policies that are allowing this corruption," Scott said. "If we don't invoke that change in those policies, what is this all for in the first place?"
Both men said they're working with police and city leaders to organize more peaceful demonstrations in Wichita. Those peaceful demonstrations they said, are where change will begin to happen.