St. Croix Valley residents turned out in big numbers for the “Kids and Families Standing up Against Racism Protest & March” that took place on Saturday, June 6 in downtown Stillwater.

The peaceful demonstration follows numerous that have taken place around the country following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd on May 25.

The Stillwater event started at the corner of Myrtle and 3rd streets. Marchers proceeded south on 3rd before turning left on Chestnut St., where they continued east onto the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge.

“It’s important we teach our children about racism so we can break the cycle,” said Rachel Schmeletzer of Stillwater, who marched with husband Joe and five-year-old daughter, Amy.

John Greene of Lake Elmo participated in some of the earlier protests that have taken place in Minneapolis and was joined for this one on Saturday by his wife Anna and daughter Gwen.

“We want to see systemic change,” said Green, who added he was protesting not just for George Floyd, but for all the others who have dealt with injustice.

Greene is a former resident of Minneapolis.

“We thought it was important to be here in our community,” Green said. “I think one of the reasons we have for hope is seeing so many white people coming out to protest. This is really a multi-cultural pursuit for justice.”

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