Lives Matter Rally Scheduled For Lafayette Saturday
According to a post on Reddit, a group of people are staging a "Lives Matter" rally in Lafayette on December 20 at 2pm.
The Reddit post linked to the "Event" that was created on Facebook:
We will meet near Target on Ambassador Caffery and march *towards* the Mall of Acadiana--we'll announce the ending demonstration to honor those whose lives have been negatively affected by the gross misconduct of officers the day of the event. Please be mindful that we must work TOGETHER to make this successful--guidelines will be posted daily to make sure we are on the same page.
I spoke with Corporal Paul Mouton of the Lafayette Police Department and he said that, even though no permit has been applied for, the department is aware of the planned rally and will be "monitoring the situation". Mouton said that participants are planning on using sidewalks and that it is supposed to be a peaceful protest.
Rallies can work in both directions, though: they can unite the community if done properly, and divide the community if rules are broken. The organizer of the Facebook Event posted this in regards to the demonstration turning violent:
I cannot stress enough how important it is that this demonstration remains peaceful. THERE CAN BE NO RIOTING, NO VIOLENCE, AND NO DESTRUCTION. If you have any intentions of engaging in such behavior, you are not welcome to join us. You will only discredit and defame the demonstration and the people involved.
HOWEVER, if any such thing happens, we end the demonstration IMMEDIATELY and go home. DO NOT attempt to break it up. Separate yourselves from any violent and disorderly conduct right away. DO NOT let yourselves be associated with any such actions.
On the Reddit thread, "theRobisaur" posted:
All I know is that pissing off the entire parish, bullying the entire city of Lafayette into stopping and ruining their holiday is not the way to change things. If this is anything like the Nola rally where they tried to get onto the highway and disrupt traffic, this will be short-lived and they're all spending Christmas in jail. I am ALL about reform, demonstrations, protest, change, etc, but it can be done tactfully, peacefully, and responsibly. We shall see.
The Saturday before Christmas has been known to be one of, if not THE busiest shopping day of the year, so traffic on Ambassador Caffery will be very heavy, something the protestors are using to their advantage so as to get the message out to many people. As for the shoppers who may encounter the protest, understand that the protesters have the right to assemble and peacefully protest; protesters do NOT have the right, however, to obstruct the flow of traffic.
More from the Lives Matter Rally event on Facebook:
If you believe that police training and expectations needs to be reformed to reduce bullying, negligence, assault, and murder, this protest is for you! The power that officers hold needs to be "checked" by another entity to balance it out. Every human has inalienable rights, and officers need to uphold the law ETHICALLY as agents of the state. #CheckYourRacialBias #PoliceReform #EndImmunity #WeCanChangeThings #BlackLivesMatter
To the protestors: good luck with your rally, be safe and be smart.