Pouring rain hurt turnout but did not completely wash out a Black Lives Matter march in Dickinson on Saturday afternoon.
Andrea Rivas, a 19-year-old Rice University student and 2019 Dickinson High School alumna, organized the march, a process she said took about a month and a half.
Rivas said she attended protests in Houston and League City and wanted to bring one to Dickinson for her friends in the community who could not make it to other protests.
“The news can make it seem like the Black Lives Matter movement is a big-city issue," Rivas said "But this is an issue that goes all the way down to the local level. The people here care about this issue, too. This issue matters everywhere.”
The march, which had about 30 participants, began at 4 p.m. under rainy skies. Protestors gathered at McAdams Junior High School then walked east on Hughes Road to state Highway 3, which Dickinson police closed off for the march.
After turning left on state Highway 3, the march moved north to Dickinson City Hall. The protestors reversed their route back to McAdams Junior High and disbanded.
Two smaller groups set up counter-protests of sorts along the march’s route, but there were no major confrontations, Dickinson Police Department spokesman Lupe Vasquez said.
“It was peaceful throughout the protest,” Vasquez said.
One group of roughly a dozen people set up a tent near the Dickinson Public Library. Organizer Brian Byrom, a League City resident, said they were not there as anti-Black Lives Matter protestors but rather as protectors of a local landmark.
The landmark in question is a trio of statues of a farmer, a rancher and a shopkeeper that Byrom said represent the founding of the town.
“We don’t want our history getting damaged, and that tends to happen in a lot of these things,” Byrom said. “You can have 300 people, but three of them are hell-bent on tearing something up that aren’t necessarily BLM guys."
The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to call attention to systemic racism and the mistreatment of Black people by police officers. The movement received a swell of momentum in response to recent police-related deaths of Black people, including Houstonian George Floyd.
Rivas said she was motivated to organize the march because of testimonials from friends in the community.
“We have a neighbor who has told us countless stories about being pulled over for no reason, being harassed,” Rivas said. “And the fact that those are good stories because he survived is horrible.”
Rivas said she would look into organizing another march in the future during what she hopes will be better weather.