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Peaceful Protests Endure In A Curfew-Free Atlanta

A man leads a "No Justice, No Peace" call-and-response chant during Atlanta protest Saturday, June 6.
A man leads a "No Justice, No Peace" call-and-response chant during Atlanta protest Saturday, June 6.
Credit Lisa Hagen / WABE
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Updated at 10:40 p.m. on Saturday. 

Thousands of people across Georgia joined in dozens of protests for racial justice Saturday, from sometimes-festive events in downtown Atlanta, to a protest that drew hundreds in a once all-white north Georgia county.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Saturday morning lifted what had been a planned 8 p.m. curfew after no arrests were reported Friday in the city.

The Saturday protests remained peaceful into the evening, even with an increased presence of law enforcement at the Georgia State Capitol. Protesters began chanting “Tear Down Gordon,” in reference to a statue of Confederate General John Brown Gordon that sits on the northeastern grounds of the state Capitol.

Atop a parking garage earlier in the day, a group of black college band alumni were serenading one main protest area with a tuba-heavy mix of tunes.

Zachary Nealy, who was conducting the group, said the goal was to support the protesters and “give them a little extra energy and juice.”

Zachary Nealy leads a brass band calling itself the Protesters Mass Band atop a parking garage in downtown Atlanta, Saturday, June 6, 2020. Nealy says the band’s goal is to give protesters “a little energy” and “juice.” (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

More than 20 protests were scheduled Saturday across the Atlanta metro area, including in downtown Atlanta as well as in Cobb, Forsyth, Fayette and Gwinnett counties.

The mayor’s office says they will monitor the protests tonight and decide whether or not to reinstate the curfew by tomorrow.