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‘Freedom to Breathe’ George Floyd Protest in Pottsville Stays Civil

downtown pottsville protest george floyd
(Photos: Coal Region Canary)

downtown pottsville protest george floyd

(Photos: Coal Region Canary)

The gathering in front of the Schuylkill Courthouse in Pottsville remained peaceful on Sunday.

About the most raucous happening at what was called the Freedom to Breathe protest on Sunday was a vehicle that drove past a Pottsville Police cruiser a few times blaring NWA’s “Fuck the Police” through their stereo.

Real ballsy, bruh.

Freedom to Breathe Protest in Pottsville Remains Peaceful

Other than that, the only thing we witnessed that was anything close to out of bounds was a jacked-up pickup truck that spun its tires and left the 75 or so protestors in a cloud of thick, dark burnout smoke for about 5 seconds.

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Protestors gathered in front of the courthouse Sunday to protest the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

schuylkill county courthouse protest george floyd pottsville group

Floyd’s death was captured on a viral social media video when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee onto his neck for about 9 minutes while onlookers pleaded for him to let up.

That incident has touched off nationwide protests that ranged from civil, like the one in Pottsville on Sunday, to the grotesque. That includes riots in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, King of Prussia, and Harrisburg which prompted Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to declare states of emergency in 3 different municipalities.

Thankfully, that didn’t happen on Sunday in Pottsville.

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As noted, about 75 people gathered on one side of Laurel Boulevard in front of the county courthouse.

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Across the street, another dozen or so people observed. Every few minutes, vehicles would pass by honking their horns or revving engines causing the group to cheer.

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Outside of that, the crowd gathered and repeated often heard Black Lives Matter chants.

They yelled, “Black lives matter!” And then broke into “I can’t breathe!”

And, of course, the classic, “No justice; no peace!”

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For the balance of the 2 hours we stayed at the protest, the crowd stood in the middle of the steep grade on Laurel Boulevard, right across from the Humane Fire Co. on Third Street.

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The protest group mobilized twice.

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downtown pottsville protest george floyd fuck racism

One time, the crowd marched up Laurel Boulevard toward Sanderson St., looping the courthouse before returning to their original protest location.

In another instance, the group moved toward downtown Pottsville.

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They marched down onto Centre Street before winding their way up West Market Street and then Third St. before once again resuming their location in front of the seat of county government.

downtown pottsville protest george floyd BLM

A light, barely noticeable police presence was on hand and cautiously followed behind the crowd. Pottsville PD was assisted on the scene by some members of the Schuylkill County Sheriff’s Dept.

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At no time did police exit their vehicles. Some members of the Sheriffs’s Dept. observed the crowd from high above the protest location by the front entrance to the courthouse.

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  1. Pingback: Freedom to Breathe Protest in Pottsville on Sunday in Response to George Floyd Death - Coal Region Canary

    • KeepAmericaGreat

      June 1, 2020 at 11:47 am

      What happened to George Floyd was horrific. It is one of the worst incidents of police brutality to actually be captured on video. Does the public know 100% that this was racially motivated? No we don’t. I’m not saying it wasn’t but I’m disgusted when CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. networks or politicians speak to the public referring to this as having anything to do with race when there has been nothing other than the skin color of the victim for the basis. Protest police brutality. Protest the police using excessive force. Protest how police departments usually protect and stand by officers who have used excessive force, typically making excuses for an officers actions when they are crossing the line. But using a victim’s race as basis for bringing attention to this injustice when it very could have had nothing to do with it exploits Mr. Floyd, not to mention what it does to all people who have also been a victim of any extent of police brutality.

  2. Dennis Klinger

    May 31, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    These two guys worked together,did anybody stop and think,just maybe they didn’t like each other and the color of the skin had nothing to do with what happened between them.

    • admin

      May 31, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Good point. Actually, excellent point. To date, the only people who’ve called this a racist event are the mainstream media desperate for a non-coronavirus story and clownshow politicians who remain as clueless as they were before this all happened. We somehow managed to describe the incident without mentioning the color of peoples’ skin because as we were raised, that’s racist. Could be a racist. Maybe not. Could just be a dickheaded (former) police officer on a power trip, too.

  3. PTFloridians

    May 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Good points above
    …a unique observation…isnt it fitting that the Freedom to Breathe Protest was done, largely in part, to those who are wearing masks, and quite frankly don’t, and haven’t, had that luxury for a few months now…ironic.

  4. Cynthia Fisher

    May 31, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    They need to realize all lives matter, no matter what the skin color is! There’s always a bad apple in the bunch. Be it police, protesters, and any other organizations. You must not become as bad as them. You need to set an example! Be a better person, care about all people.

    • Dani Kilcullen

      June 1, 2020 at 3:03 am

      For all lives to matter, blcl lives need to matter.

      • PTFloridians

        June 1, 2020 at 1:22 pm

        If ALL LIVES matter, we do not use words like black, brown, white, etc…we don’t see color. Too many people SEE color in that sense. The BLM movement perpetuates the racism narrative…it stokes and fans discord and really doesn’t contribute much positive action.

  5. PTFloridians

    May 31, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Just hafta say though…what happened to George Floyd is a terrible and awful, sad tragedy, in knowing and deeply understanding that, why don’t we get upset or act a fool all over the country when people of different skin color kill Caucasians or Latinos, etc…i worked in a State Prison for decades, and I know the stats, i know the recidivism rates, i observed behaviors and racism, reverse racism and everything in between…it stinks, but it’s time to stop this excessive, wanton behavior and violence. It simply doesn’t prove anything but lack of respect for life and the livelihoods of our peoples.

    • KeepAmericaGreat

      June 1, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      Unfortunately, people will alway exploit tragedy. It has become commonplace when something like this happens to someone of color. Politicians have been known to have a saying, “never let a good tragedy go to waste.” At this point, it doesn’t matter if the officer wasn’t racially motivated….the media has already influenced so many that it was a main factor. Unfortunate for all others who have been a victim of corrupt, power-hungry police. (Just a side note—-check out this video…police brutality can happen to anyone, all lives matter, stop making everything about racism!

  6. Mike Donchak

    May 31, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    I find it amusing when I see white people protesting. What are they protesting about? The Banana Republic ran out of Khakis…George Carlin

  7. Coalregion12

    May 31, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Very well written article, great pictures too. You gave a non-bias account of the protest. Thanks! Pottsville Republican take a look please on how to write a story!!

    • PTFloridians

      May 31, 2020 at 10:23 pm

      The Pottsvile Republican became a tool for the AP and the ilk a long time ago. Never a good report on the President, only negative and slanted. A biased fishwrapper at best…they should change the name of the publication. I can’t believe they’ve lasted this long.

  8. Frank

    May 31, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Happened to be driving by and it looked like mostly young people. They started chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot”. Somebody needs to tell them that was a lie and never happened.
    Ignorance aside, I’m glad it was peaceful though,

  9. Jill

    June 2, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    I’m staying at home. Why you ask? I am staying at home because of the coronavirus. I am a Christian and I gotta say staying at home is mentally exhausting at times. I think in times of troubles and hopelessness people will more easily show their frustration beyond the norm such as burning down buildings, looting, and hurting/killing cops. Coronavirus stay at home and job losses are psyching people out. Media is showing what they want to feed you for political reasons only. I tell you the devil is dancing on his playground and people are entertaining him. Okay the incident with Mr. Floyd. If you have a person pinned down and he is saying I can’t breathe, get the hell off of them. I saw the look on his face, seriously get OFF OF them. One simple saying “Do unto others as you would like done unto you” There is a lot of injustice in this country. The only way to make changes is by turning to God for help and praying for a better government. I am all for protesting as long as we keep our hands to ourselves and use our voices. God gave us big mouths for a reason,so we can be heard, and don’t stop yelling until you are heard. My prayers for all who are hurting for whatever reason, and for a better government. American’s let’s join hands and hearts together and lead by examples on how to treat one another, not through hate and violence. God hates sin but he loves you, always has, and He always will.

  10. Kimber

    June 4, 2020 at 1:55 am

    Ironic how STUPID these idiots are, a bunch of white kids complaining about white people. It shows you the level of indoctrination that has been placed upon our youth by these communist pos in the school systems. They better not think about coming to other towns and rioting, we are watching and we are ready to defend our communities from this communist threat to our safety.

  11. Pingback: Weekend of Protests in Schuylkill County - But Are They Even Protesting Something Real? - Coal Region Canary

  12. Raia

    June 21, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Maybe make a mention of all the trash that was left behind and the guy that got arrested for public urination. There was no point to this protest and none of the people from this organization live in Pottsville, they are from surrounding areas. All of these people need to stay local and make changes for themselves, not come down here and make a mess of the town for a day. Real journalism is adding the fact that none of these people have any real concern for Pottsville’s Police Force, who handled this situation gracefully and with the utmost professionalism. Stop protesting the good cops and cherry picking your narratives please.

    • admin

      June 22, 2020 at 8:41 am

      Maybe you missed our take on the protests two weeks later.

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