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BLOC organizes community building events amid Rittenhouse jury deliberations

BLOC community building
Posted at 5:13 PM, Nov 18, 2021

KENOSHA — Tensions remain high on the Kenosha County Courthouse front steps as the country awaits a verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial. While people on both sides clash at the courthouse, some Kenosha community leaders decided to organize community building events instead.

"It's not a protest, it's just a gathering where we're asking people to re-imagine Kenosha, and we're coming together to heal Kenosha," Kyle Johnson with Black Leaders Organizing for Community (BLOC).

Kyle Johnson
Kyle Johnson with Black Leaders Organizing for Community (BLOC)

In a green space right next to Regimen Barber Collective and across the street from the Boy and Girls Club, BLOC and other community leaders have hosted a block party of sorts each night of jury deliberations.

"We want folks to be in the community so we can focus on it," Johnson said.

For him, community looks like grilling with neighbors, music and conversation. It's a very different scene than the one that has been happening at the courthouse for the last week.

"We feel like the energy over there is one of tension and not deescalation," Johnson said. "I think everybody has seen the footage from August of 2020 in Kenosha. We saw buildings on fire... the need for the rebuilding of the soul of this community is so important."

Black Leaders Organizing for Community
While people on both sides clash at the courthouse, some Kenosha community leaders decided to organize community building events instead.

Johnson said these community events are a safe space for people to process any emotions they have around the trial and to come together to create a better community for all. He said anyone is welcome to join, but they ask that people come with an open mind and don't come armed.

The group typically meets around 3 p.m. each day.

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