’You all matter to me:’ Atlanta mayor takes to the streets with protesters

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms took to the streets with protesters in solidarity Thursday night.

Addressing the crowds first from a microphone ahead of a line of protestors and then from a bullhorn in the middle of the crowd, she assured crowds in downtown Atlanta that they were heard.

“We are gathered to honor those who have died. Their lives mattered,” Bottoms said. “And I’m out here today to tell you that you all matter to me.”

“What I see right now as we’re all on our streets together, we are grieving together. We are feeling each other’s pain. And the solutions will come," Bottoms said.

Bottoms said the civil rights movement wasn’t a one-time event or a one-week event, it was an extended period of time with thoughtful planning. She recalled the words of writer and activist Audre Lord, who said, "Revolution is not a one-time event."

“We are in the midst of a movement in this country,” Bottoms told the crowd. “But it’s going to be incumbent upon all of us to be able to get together and articulate more than our anger. We’ve got to be able to articulate what we want and our solutions.”

Bottoms said she looks forward to continuing to stand with protesters and work together.

"In the same way that my grandparents believed there would be a better day for their children's children, I believe that for my children's children as well," Bottoms said.

Bottoms finished her speech by encouraging protesters to get a COVID-19 test.