DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's been one week since a night of destructive riots broke out in the city of Baltimore.
Monday night a group of Des Moines residents came together in a show of solidarity and to honor the life of Freddie Gray.
“We are here to declare that black lives do in fact matter,” said protest organizer Kaija Carter.
The protest was organized as part of the Black Lives Matter movement happening across the country.
“Getting the message out there to everyone that black lives do matter and we do want justice for those who deserve it, everyone deserves justice,” said participant Virginia Hill of Des Moines.
Protesters came together in between MLK and 19th Street in Des Moines to raise awareness and attract attention for their message.
The group marched to each bridge and hung signs for passing by motorists to see.
But Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad said if people want change, they need to do more than just hold a protest.
“People have to be involved in the system, they have to be involved in meeting with the police, they have to be involved in the voting process, but also the community meetings,” Rep. Abdul-Samad said.
He said that starts with people talking to each other and discussing the issues that matter most.
“We need to have real conversations about race relations not only with the police but with each other,” Rep. Abdul-Samad said.
About 100 people showed up for the rally.