** CHECK OUT OUR COVERAGE OF THIS EVENT HERE: Freedom to Breathe Protest in Pottsville Stays Civil **
A protest in response to the police killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd is planned in Pottsville Sunday afternoon.
The “Freedom to Breathe” protest is planned for outside the Schuylkill County Courthouse on N. Second St. in Pottsville from 2-7 p.m. Sunday.
Organizers say they plan a peaceful protest.
George Floyd Protest Planned in Pottsville on Sunday
They posted on a Facebook Events page underscoring their desire to keep this protest civil and peaceful.
Organizers wrote on that page: “Members of our community unite to show our county that we are one people and we are ALL tired of racism in this county and the country and things need to change!! THIS IS A PEACEFUL EVENT. NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, A RIOT OR ANY OTHER FORM OF VIOLENCE!!!”
One of the organizers, “Jenn OD”, wrote in the Discussion section of that Facebook page, “I don’t believe anyone is coming with bad intentions but if by chance you do have bad intentions and think you’re going to come start shit … stay home, you are not welcome to join us. Throw a fit in your house and break your own shit. Do NOT get into a confrontation with the police or any other law enforcement official. Do not throw anything for any reason whatsoever unless you are throwing garbage into the trash can. Which also means don’t litter. There is the possibility that instigators will show up. Do not engage. Instead we can take a knee, that seems to piss off racists plenty. They want you to act up so they can say they were right that we’re just rioters. Do Not block any roadway as we are not responsible if you get run over. We greatly appreciate your cooperation.”
Protests Across Pennsylvania Turn Violent on Saturday
Peaceful protests were not what happened across Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Violent riots broke out in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, and Harrisburg. That prompted Gov. Tom Wolf to issue a Disaster Emergency Declaration on Saturday in Allegheny, Dauphin, and Philadelphia counties.
“People have every right to speak out and demonstrate, but it’s unacceptable to take advantage of protests to incite violence, harm others and destroy property,” Gov. Wolf said. “This declaration authorizes the commonwealth and its agencies to assist municipalities in their response to de-escalate violence and keep our communities safe.”
On late Saturday night, reports of looting at the King of Prussia mall were reported on Twitter.