Dance Dance for Revolution: A New Way of Protesting


Ivana Martinez

Protesters dance for justice on Salt Lake streets on July 19, 2020.

By Ivana Martinez, Assistant News Editor

Over the last month, protesters have shown it’s not a moment, it’s a movement. Not just a social movement, but a moment of movement. 

On July 19, protesters gathered at Riverside Park in Salt Lake City to dance for justice. After weeks of chanting, kneeling and marching the streets of Salt Lake City, a new emerging group is changing how protesters take over the streets. From the electric slide to the cha-cha slide, activism has taken many forms, but the message remains the same.

Angela Johnson — one of the main organizers for the event, knows not everyone can attend the protests, so they decided to bring the protest to the people. Johnson said the protests started with just a couple of friends who came out to support a good cause.  

Johnson said their focal point is trying to raise awareness within the community about systemic racism and police brutality. 

“There’s always a lot of different ways to protest and we decided that we wanted to make it fun, to be different [from] all the other protests the ways that we can stand a little bit more … And we set this tone by giving out a message that not every protest is dangerous that every protest can be fun. It can be effective,” Johnson said. 

At the park, speeches were given by Zachary Taylor and Rania Ahmed. Ahmed spoke about the power of persistent protest and the recent passing of civil rights activists John Lewis and C. T. Vivien.

“In every case from the Vietnam War, to the anti-segregation movement, a radical minority of people, people like you, disrupted businesses, and state institutions— do not be distracted by people who favor order over justice,” Ahmed said. 

She mentioned how protesting has never been popular within America and how many progressive victories didn’t enjoy majority support until they were won. 

In an interview with the Daily Utah Chronicle, Ahmed said it’s important for people to come together, feel motivated and unafraid. 

“Remember that these progressive ideas of human rights have never been popular. And if we don’t stick together and stay encouraged, we will ultimately fail, but it will work if we stay committed,” Ahmed said. 

Local Propagandist was present, handing out their popular “Sim Gill Zero Action Tour” t-shirt which lists the names on the back of individuals who’ve been killed by police. COVID Mutual Aid was also present handing out masks, water and granola bars to protesters. 

Protesters headed out around 5 p.m. some in roller skates, some on bikes as they blasted music from the lead car and danced and sang their way onto the streets. Cars followed behind some squirting water guns at protesters to cool off. 

At one of the stops near the end, one of the organizers who chose not to be named raised the Sim Gill white t-shirt, and read the names of the individuals. He said this was the zero action tour. 

“They did nothing for the change, no laws are made, but it ain’t gonna stop us you can make that change now. We’re gonna be out here as much as we can until things change the way we want.  And this is not going to be no overnight change,” the organizer said.


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