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Unity Coalition holds rally to bring understanding among groups

Boogaloo Bois make their way to the Michigan State Capitol for the Unity Rally.
Boogaloo Bois make their way to the Michigan State Capitol for the Unity Rally.(Bronwyn Moisan)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There was a lot of attention directed at the Michigan State Capitol on Saturday as the Unity Coalition belonging to the Boogaloo Bois invited social justice groups, such as Black Lives Matter, to mingle.

The Boogaloo Bois had members at the event who had travelled from as far as Pennsylvania.

“We’re here today because we want to put people before politics,” said Unity Coalition spokesman who goes by the name of “Soap”.

While many in attendance claimed to be a part of the Unity Coalition, their Hawaiian shirts and flags suggested they were associated with the Boogaloo Bois who have been accused of trying to start a second civil war in America.

“We are trying to prevent a second civil war. That’s the point of the event today is to get people to talk to each other so we can rationalize our positions so we’re not at each other’s throat wanting war to hurt people,” Soap said.

When asked about the Boogaloo members who conspired to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Soap denounced their association.

“Those guys weren’t with us,” explained Soap. “They might have followed pages and liked some of the stuff we posted but by no means do they speak as a group for us as a whole.”

Social Justice For Us representatives from Marquette, MI attended the rally. When asked what they disagreed with as it pertained to the Boogaloo Bois, they responded with put the guns away.

“I’m all for protecting yourself, but when it comes off as a show of force or intimidation then are you really here for the conversation? You don’t have to approach every conversation with a weapon. I don’t approach every conversation screaming Black Lives Matter. I can meet you, greet you, say my name and we can go from there,” said Executive Director of Social Justice For Us Fred Sims.

According to Justice For Us Donations Coordinator Sarah Skinner, sometimes you have to agree to disagree.

“We’re not opposed to having conversations if that’s going to better our community and our state as a whole. But, at the same time we can agree to disagree and have our own opinions and our own views and fight for what we know what is right which is black lives matter," said Skinner.

Sims said the only way these groups can have an actual discussion and find common ground is if they put their egos aside and listen to each other.

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