FORT WORTH — Dominique Robertson thought she was would be attending a Black Lives Matter rally at the Fort Worth Water Gardens on Saturday evening. But she was curious to find a registration table manned by mostly white people belonging to groups like North Texas Anarchism and Black Cat Collectives.

Robertson, 24, a foster care coordinator in Fort Worth, was intrigued. She talked with a group leader and didn’t hesitate to sign up with name and number for more information.

“I was listening to what they stand for to see if my views on social things are equal to theirs,” she said. “I don’t want anybody to use it as a platform of their own and forget the reason we’re here. But if it can get the word out and do it peacefully, then I don’t think it matters who says it.”

She found little to disagree with as she settled with 150 others into the Water Gardens’ large commons area, listening to a few brief speakers from different organizations. The overriding theme was to fight against police brutality.

Group leaders said that they used the umbrella of the Black Lives Matter movement to include other groups that share many of the same concerns about police shootings of unarmed black men.

John Fullinwider of Fort Worth, who said he is a co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, quickly taught a chant to the audience and then led the chant — “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Gary Stuard, a libertarian challenging U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions in the District 32 election, took the microphone, saying that “as a gay man … I know what people of color have gone through. The dehumanization, the degradation, the unmitigated violence.”

About 40 Fort Worth police officers on foot, bikes and horses kept an eye on the event from a distance. But there were no incidents.

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(c)2016 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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