Monday's Grand Rapids protest not a Black Lives Matter event as advertised on social media
Monday, the City of Grand Rapids made it clear a 3pm downtown rally and protest was not coordinated with its organizers and therefore not permitted. Who or what was behind it may not have mattered to protestors.
“Without a gun you’re the same as us. Without a gun you’re the same as us. Without a gun you’re the same as us.”
What began with a few dozen protesters grew to a few hundred.
“I just want to see how far they’ll go to keep us from having a voice.”
That’s protestor Marcia Edwards.
“The fact that they want to stop a protest that they deemed not legal is not right. We are the people. We are the power…Even if it was a Black Lives Matter rally, is this necessary?”
Dozens of National Guard and Grand Rapids Police Officers with shields and tactical gear stood between dozens of Humvees parked end-to-end along with City of Grand Rapids dump trucks blocking off the intersections of Fulton and Ionia and Fulton and Division.
The protestors moved in closer. First, sit-in style. Soon, the protestors were face-to-face with law enforcement demanding the city’s African-American police chief address them making the pronouncement that Black Lives Matter.
“Black lives matter. I just said it. And I will hold everyone accountable to do the right thing.”
He offered protestors meet with him seeking solutions. He’s also trying to find out who posted on Facebook a 3pm Black Lives Matter Protest at Van Andel Arena?
“We haven’t been in support of any of the protests.”
Dana Knight is an organizer with Black Lives Matter Grand Rapids. It warned through social media not to attend. Knight says there are other organizers using #blacklivesmatter.
WGVU news discovered that if you click on the Black Lives Matter social media banner posted for Monday’s protest it reveals a number of individuals signed the petition including a Russian bot.
In Grand Rapids, I’m Patrick Center