Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Tuesday: How To Protest When Marching Isn't A Safe Option

Zulyema Tang-Martinez (left) organized a car caravan protest on June 20 in University City.
Zulyema Tang-Martinez (left) organized a car caravan protest on June 20 in University City.

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Zulyema Tang-Martinez has witnessed major political movements in the country ranging back to the civil rights movement during the ’60s in Oakland, California. She is now 75 years old, and the professor emerita of biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis still makes it a point to participate in demonstrations, including the ongoing movement against police brutality. 

But this time, she faces some complications. The coronavirus weighed heavy on her mind when it came to deciding whether or not she could march with protesters. She’s older, and has medical conditions that make it too risky to join the crowds. She had a hunch that others were in a similar situation — and she was right.

Through MOmentum: Missouri Moving Forward, a social justice organization created in 2016, Tang-Martinez organized a car caravan last month in University City to “drive out racism and drive in justice.” She expected about 30 to 40 cars to show up — but about 200 cars drove through the “humblest to the poshest” parts of the city. People of various ages and physical abilities were able to participate, decking out their cars with signs expressing their solidarity with the movement.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Tang-Martinez will join host Sarah Fenske to talk about navigating being an activist when you’re unable to attend protests with other marchers.

If you can’t attend a march due to a medical condition or disability, what are other ways you’ve protested? Or what do you find yourself wishing some protests were more accessible? Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to or share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr

Send questions and comments about this story to

Copyright 2020 St. Louis Public Radio