The evening began with a prayer vigil at First Church UCC Phoenix, attended by more than 500 people.
Participants then marched to St. Mary's Basilica Courtyard, escorted by police, with a route to keep protesters away from supporters. The courtyard was a Safe Sanctuary Zone, where the group staffed a station with water, first aid, and pastoral care.
Small groups of angry protesters and anarchists disrupted a mostly peaceful protest. The march to the Capitol had to be canceled due to a conflict ending with police dispersing protesters with pepper spray, tear gas, and concussion grenades, after a few protesters threw water bottles at the police.
Rev. Bill Lyons experienced a canister of pepper smoke firsthand; see his video. “Police continued to deploy chemical munitions against a crowd that was chanting, ‘Peaceful protest! Peaceful protest!’ while holding their hands in the air. I know because I was there. I was gassed. My video and I bear witness to what happened Tuesday night.” Read his story HERE.
In the words of First Church Phoenix: Thank you for your joining us for an incredible vigil and march downtown! We made our presence known.