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Tampa's protests take different forms but demand the same thing

A peace rally in Curtis Hixon Park and a Black Lives Matter protest down Bayshore Boulevard demanded justice, change and healing.

TAMPA, Fla. — At Curtis Hixon Park and along Bayshore Boulevard, peace prevailed at two different protests. 

“The world is hurting right now, especially our black community," said youth pastor Daniel Westbrooks with Harvest Time Ministries International Church.

He co-organized a peace rally at Curtis Hixon Park filled with marching, prayer and dance.

Co-organizer Hope Radiance Boyd was encouraged their efforts may make a difference towards healing, saying "and somehow that our hope and our dancing and our flags and our banners bring that hope. And that light that we’re going to get through this.”

RELATED: Protests across Tampa: 'Back the Blue,' Black Lives Matter rallies

Down the road, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered in Fred Ball Park for a march, one of the largest Tampa has seen during this movement.

“We’re going to march until change is made, right. So that’s a given. So while we are marching, we need to be making policy change," said Robin Lockett, the regional director for Organize Florida.

Some of the changes Lockett said they’d like to see are better access to housing, a more fair judicial system and reallocation of funding from the police to mental health services.

“I’m tired of people that’s in positions that’s not doing something that they can do. They’re not making change," Lockett said.

Those involved in the movement are inspired. "There’s [sic] so many people of different races, ethnicities that are walking with us. Change is coming, like we feel it, and it’s started," Boyd said.

Protesters with the Black Lives Matter march made their way back to Fred Ball Park, marking the end of this march. But organizers say that their work is far from over.

“This keeps happening. This keeps happening," Lockett said. "We keep going until we get what we want.”

RELATED: Protester projects images on Tampa buildings to highlight police brutality, racial violence

RELATED: 'Prayer unites the heart': Lakeland community reflects on George Floyd's death

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