As Donald Trump visited Kenosha, Wisconsin, despite being discouraged by local officials worried that his presence might further hinder the community, the family of Jacob Blake worked to unite the community, organizing a block party and rally in response to Trump’s visit.
In addition to offering free food and hosting a community cleanup and healing circles, organizers also included voter registration booths near where Blake was shot in the back by Kenosha police officers, according to WISN.
The family emphasized that this was about celebrating and strengthening the community, despite Trump’s controversial visit, in which he acknowledged he would not be even visiting Blake’s family.
“Members of our community of all races and backgrounds have come together in an extraordinary show of resilience and compassion, and that is what we will continue to do on Tuesday,” Tanya Mclean, a family friend who helped organize the event said, according to the news station.
“We don’t need more pain and division from a president set on advancing his campaign at the expense of our city,” Blake’s uncle Justin Blake added. “We need justice and relief for our community.”
On Monday, ahead of Trump’s visit, Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr. bluntly told CNN that he had no interest in playing politics with Trump over his son’s life.
“This is my son’s life we are talking about,” Blake told CNN on Monday. “I am not getting into politics. It is all about my son, man. It has nothing to do with a photo op. It has to do with Jacob’s operation.”