Organizers for a Black Lives Matter Protest announced to take place in Morrisville’s Williamson Park have yet to apply for the permits necessary to be approved for the event, Borough officials said Tuesday morning.
According to image posting on Facebook Monday, the event put together by Morrisville PA Against Hate, announced the gathering for July 11 with plans for speakers at the demonstration.
Borough Manager Scott Mitchell said Tuesday morning, a number of groups in recent days have reached out to borough officials informing them of potential plans for a rally in the local spacious and historic park.
“Yes, we have received contacts from organizers of various groups”, Mitchell said, “but so far no one group has handed in the required completed paperwork and fees for holding such an event at the park.”
Mitchell said the permitting fee is $300 and organizers would need to have a certificate of insurance and porta potty rental paperwork in order to move forward with their plans.
Mitchell added, although I haven’t had any specific conversations with Chief of Police George McClay, I believe he is aware of the plans so far.
The Morrisville based social media group, according to Facebook, was created about three weeks ago and has approximately 620 members currently.
The public outcry set of locally and nationally events was ignited when George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin last month.
Protests and demonstrations took place throughout the country prompting intense and heated discussions about race, inequality, and changes needed to be made to policing.
A video of the alarming incident showing Chauvin (a white officer) leaning on the neck of Floyd with his knee went viral nationally.
Chauvin held his knee against Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.
The threat of a protest march scheduled to happen across the Delaware in Trenton, New Jersey on Memorial Day weekend turned Bridge Street into a veritable fortress of law enforcement positioned all around the Trenton Makes and Calhoun Street Bridges.
Locals rode around the borough in their vehicles and stood outside businesses armed and ready for protesters.
Later that same day, protesters lined the streets of Five Points in Levittown as part of peaceful demonstrations before chaos took over the streets of Trenton and Philadelphia later that night.
The following week, peace rallies organized in Lower Makefield, Bristol Borough, and Bensalem took place with no major incidents at those events reported by law enforcement. During the days leading up to the late week community events, police departments also had to issue statements publicly about threats of violence in Falls Township and using social media to “incite violence.”
Heated debates on social media platforms about the racism, its political history, and its effects have continued coupled with the synergistic effects of the coronavirus pandemic have led to ugly exchanges between family and friends for example.
Perhaps Williamson Park protest organizers have been inspired by what many described as a “beautiful event” in Bristol earlier this month to hold their own localized version.
On Monday night, an email communication between the publication and organizers for Morrsiville PA against Hate did occur with the hopes of setting up an interview for a later date. The publication’s request has yet to receive a reply as of Tuesday evening.