From Stuttgart to DeWitt, every race, creed, and color are uniting together to take a stand on racial injustice after the death of George Floyd which sparked national outrage on the harsh reality of racism in America.
Protected by the First Amendment, citizens have the rights to assemble, protest, and petition.
The nonviolent action to achieve the goals of social change will be held over the course of three consecutive days in Arkansas County.
Walk With Us will be held at the DeWitt Square on Friday at 5 p.m.
“Just trying to give people who’ve been impacted by police brutality and racism a chance to speak their peace around people who love and support them,” said Nikki Winans, host. “Wether it be a friend, family of just someone you know, come out and show some love.”
On Friday at 4 p.m. a Civil Rights March will be led by Stuttgart Civil Rights Founder Robert Chambers.
“Exercising our rights is important during this time,” said Chambers, who said they will meet at J.B. Bryant Park.
On Saturday at 4 p.m. at the old Pizza Hut Parking Lot on 22nd Street, a peaceful protest will be held that was organized by young professionals who are former Stuttgart High School Students.
Markayla Watt, organizer of the protest said not only will this come together peacefully and raise national and local awareness, this will also be a time to encourage young people to register to vote.
Originally scheduled at the sidewalk in front of the Shoe Department, the protest will end at 8:00 p.m.
“This is a peaceful protest,” said Kenneth Avery Jr. “If you have any violent urges or desires to cause destruction we ask for you to stay home.”
All organizers are encouraging those who attend to wear masks as the state of Arkansas is still in the midst of a pandemic.
While local officials and surrounding jurisdictions are aware there will be protesting, organizers want to be assured as well as the community, that everyone and their property is protected.
General information on protesting rights include:
- You CAN: distribute leaflets, flyers, and literature
- You CAN: picket and protest on public sidewalks, parks and plazas
- You CAN: chant and sing protest songs on public sidewalks, parks and plazas
- You CAN’T: block access to sidewalks or buildings
- You CAN’T: physically disrupt counter-protests
- You CAN’T: distribute anything that is obscene, defamatory or likely to incite an immediate disruptive or dangerous disturbance
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said the recent protesting is expressing the justifiable outrage to the oppressive treatment of African Americans in the case of George Floyd and the many other cases across the county.
“It is important that voices be heard to express hurt, anger and frustration about this injustice,” said Hutchison. “While vandalism and defacing public
property are against the law and contrary to the spirit of non-violent protest, I am hopeful that we can listen better, engage more and ultimately unite to support equal justice for all.”
A Unity Peace Rally will conclude the weekend, 5:30 p.m. Sunday at John Cain Park in Stuttgart. A separate release will be provided with more details later today.
For more information on protester rights go to https://www.aclu.org/know-your-rights/protesters-rights/#i-want-to-take-pictures-or-shoot-video-at-a-protest