Contrary to rumors, the Justice for Black Lives protest scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at City Hall is moving forward, according to Mokah Jasmine Johnson, co-founder of the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement.
Organizers said that Police Chief Cleveland Spruill confirmed that there have been no threats regarding the demonstration, and police are not recommending boarding up businesses.
“I understand that people are nervous, but we must move forward with wisdom and without fear,” Johnson said. “Black people in this country are in danger every day. But we cannot let fear stop us from speaking out for our right to be safe in our communities.”
The AADM has been coordinating with police and Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams in light of Sunday’s protest, which drew suspected members of the right-wing Boogaloo group and ended when police used tear gas to disperse the remaining crowd.
To reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading, no march will take place so that demonstrators can spread out around City Hall. In addition, participants are urged to wear masks, and medical stations with hand sanitizer and masks will be set up.
People who may have been exposed to coronavirus or are elderly or immunosuppressed are urged to stay home. The event will be live-streamed on AADM’s Facebook page.
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