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1000 Man March protesters walk across Lee Bridge in Richmond

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Posted at 12:18 AM, Jul 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-17 00:19:33-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A peaceful protest stepped off Saturday as members of Black Lives Matter, Richmond school teachers, the LGBT community, church groups and non-profit organizations marched from Monroe park to the city’s Blackwell neighborhood.

The two-mile trek saw protesters joined by police officers, who walked along with them.

Marchers chanted as they walked across the Lee Bridge striving to bring awareness to violence against black men and women at the hands of police and other agents of the state.

Protesters march across Lee Bridge (SOURCE: Mack Visions)

Protesters march across Lee Bridge (SOURCE: Mack Visions)

“In a million years, my ancestors never thought anything like this could happen,” Jayne Thomas, who took part in the event, said. “It's just heartwarming to see people come out just to support you. Black, white -- it doesn’t matter… We are out here to just raise awareness to let people know this is not OK, it has to stop.”

Triston Harris, who helped organize RVA's 1000 Man March, said he worked with both Richmond and VCU Police to ensure the event was peaceful.

Representatives from Black Lives Matter, Richmond Public School teachers, the LGBT community, church groups, and non-profit organizations will take part in the march.

"We are trying to come together to bring unity in the community," Harris said. "We know change is not going to come Sunday morning when everyone wakes up after the march, we're marching to bring awareness to all different types of things."

The march began around 3 p.m. Saturday at Monroe Park and concluded at Maury and 15th Street in Blackwell.

The Richmond Black Lives Matter Chapter hosts events regularly to protest what they call state-supported violence against black people.