‘Let me help you guys, help us’: How one protest leader hopes to see change happen

SPOKANE, Wash. — Protesters are back in downtown Spokane, calling for change and peace. They’re taking a different approach to the protest and it starts with knowing your neighbor. 

Renee White took charge of Monday night’s protest after a fight broke out. White said she knew she had to jump in. 

“It’s time. Y’all got to hear me. I love y’all. I’m your sister. I’m your family,” White said. “I’m your brother — like whoever you want me to be. I’m going to be that right there, and I want to know you.”

She’s been at the protests since the start. White said she wants to know everyone’s name because that’s where change starts. 

“I can’t stand next to a stranger and protest for something and we don’t really know each other because how can we know each other and try to help each other,” she explained. “We got to be able to know each other to help each other.”

On Tuesday, she unfolded a table and put out name tags. White set out a journal, asking people to write a message or their names in it.

Peace, change and the end to racial discrimination has been some of the many messages from White.

“I want to be able to be a voice for that. For that situation. For racial discrimination everywhere. In the workplace, walking down the street. It could be your friend. It could be anybody,” said White.  

White’s passionate voice has been spreading on social media. Her message runs deep. 

“I’ve experienced racial discrimination in the workplace. And that’s unfair to go to work every day and walk on eggshells and feel like, “Oh wow, like why do these people hate me?” 

She said it’s not only about police brutality and justice for George Floyd. 

“I’m going to teach people how to properly vote. We’re going to know who’s in our government,” said White. “Let me help you guys. Help us. You know, that’s what I’m here for. I want to be a voice for all racial discrimination.” 

White told protesters to go home at 10:00 Monday night. Some people stayed to clean up the area. While she was walking back to her car, an officer came up to her and thanked her for taking the lead.

“He was like that was amazing what you did. You’re the reason why we stayed back and I almost cried because I was like, so many of my people were so worried that they were going to do this and that, and I was like no, stay calm,” she said. 

She said silence is not the answer. White said she’s going to attend Spokane City Council meetings and let her voice be heard there.

“First thing first is coming together and knowing each other and loving on each other and then working on learning what we don’t know because we’re out with signs and we don’t really know what’s really going on,” she said.

White said she will be at the protest every day. She said she call the police department and told them about the events at the Red Wagon.

The Spokane Police Department said they will also be at the protests.

READ: More Black Lives Matter protests planned in Spokane