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Small Unity March gathers in Nevada City

Nevada County’s Fayth Woodward leads Saturday’s Unity March down Broad Street from Nevada City Hall to Calanan Park. Though participants in the march were lower than expected, Woodward and company were not discouraged to promote their message of unity during a time of divisiveness.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com

A Unity March expected to bring a large number of protesters to the streets of Nevada City instead brought seven people out Saturday, though organizer Fayth Woodward said she was still pleased with those who turned out.

Woodward said she was inspired to begin organizing a Unity March after the killing of George Floyd.

“I wanted my event to be separate from Black Lives Matter, not to distract from them or anything, but to kind of start a new revolution centered around unity,” Woodward said.

Woodward wanted to create a space for conversation separate from calls to defund the police.

“I personally don’t think that is the answer,” Woodward said. “For a lot of people that kind of turns a light off for them as soon as they see defundment.”

Woodward said she has been in contact with Nevada City Police Chief Chad Ellis, Grass Valley Police Chief Alex Gammelgard, and Nevada County Sheriff Shannan Moon about opening up the conversation for police reform.

“A couple of ideas I had was a community charge card where an officer gets $30 a month to spend on kids, any sort of community engagement,” Woodward said. Woodward also wants an in-house therapist hired for the departments.

Rumors of thousands of people coming from the Bay Area to protest, which Nevada City police in a Friday Facebook post said had no factual basis, proved to be false. Woodward’s concern of armed counter protestors awaiting their arrival in Nevada City also proved unfounded.

“I’m happy with it, I was told that there would be people showing up with guns, locked and loaded, so I’m content with what it is, because I would have been a little nervous if that was the case,” Woodward said.

The group marched from City Hall to Calanan Park, where speeches were read and a comment board for potential police reform was also presented for people to sign.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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