Three protests planned for today; mayor reassures business owners

Mayor Tom Dermody

There are two separate protests planned for this afternoon in the city of La Porte, as confirmed by city officials,  and there are also reports of a third protest planned by supporters of Black Lives Matter.

In response to those events, Mayor Tom Dermody and Police Chief Paul Brettin issued the following  statements to the media on Thursday:

“I want to start by saying that what happened in Minnesota is absolutely atrocious, and the outrage felt by people across this country is more than justified,” Dermody said.

“During our conversations, the organizers of the protest have stressed that they want things to remain peaceful. It is their 1st Amendment right to have their voices heard, and they acknowledge that it must be done in a civil manner,” he said. “Riots and looting have no place in our city and will not be tolerated. We are grateful to local and state law enforcement, who are well-prepared to protect the protesters’ right to assemble as well as the city we know and love. During this difficult time, it is imperative that we come together as a community and continue to make La Porte proud.”

Chief Brettin added: “The mayor’s pro-active approach led to a very productive discussion with the protest organizers. They have assured us that they want their demonstration to remain civil and will do what they can to ensure that is the case. Our officers will be there for them to help protect their right to assemble, while also protecting the people and properties throughout our community.”

In a letter to local business owners, the mayor advised that, after learning of a possible protest, he messaged the organizers and proposed a meeting to discuss the organizers’ plans. The organizers did in fact meet Thursday morning with Dermody, a state police officer, Chief Brettin and the city attorney.

“We had a very productive conversation, and their focus on a peaceful protest became very clear,” Dermody told business owners. “We worked together and agreed on a timeframe that works for everyone.”

He said the event will begin at 4 p.m. near the courthouse. Protesters will then march over the overpass on the sidewalk. The organizers said they will clean up any and all garbage, and will ensure that everyone disperses immediately after the event is over at 6 p.m, Dermody said.

“With riots and lootings dominating the news, I can imagine many of you are nervous and upset,” Dermody wrote. “As a former business owner, I know I would be, too. Our businesses are our livelihoods, and we feel compelled to do all we can protect them.

“However, after speaking with the organizers, I can assure you that they want things to remain civil and peaceful. Their only intention is to have their voices heard, and it is their 1st Amendment right to do so,” he wrote.

The mayor said he has been made aware that a group of Trump supporters will also assemble from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

“Local law enforcement will be present at both protests to protect the protesters’ right to assemble as well as [protect] the people and properties within our community. We will also have state police on call to ensure that things remain peaceful,” he said.

“What happened in Minnesota is absolutely atrocious, and the outrage felt by people across this country is more than justified. Our city leadership team is doing all that we can to allow for a peaceful demonstration while also protecting the community we know and love. During this difficult time, it is imperative that we come together and continue to make La Porte Proud.”

Supporters of Black Lives Matter are reportedly planning a peaceful protest from 4 to 6 p.m. today on or near the overpass.

 

21 Responses to “Three protests planned for today; mayor reassures business owners”

  1. Kathy

    Jun 04. 2020

    Where are the Trump supporters going to assemble?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Jun 05. 2020

      Not sure. Anyone have official word on that? Also, no official word on where the BLM supporters are gathering.

      Reply to this comment
      • Austen Wood

        Jun 05. 2020

        I am the organizer of the Black Lives Matter protest in La Porte. We will be gathering by the courthouse at 4. Message me on facebook or email me if you have any other questions.

        Reply to this comment
        • Joseph Caples

          Jun 05. 2020

          The protest was very decent. Thanks to those who organized it and to all the participants who acted mature and decent. Thanks also to our mayor and all who participated to keep this event and our city safe.

          Reply to this comment
      • Jessica

        Jun 06. 2020

        Ummm, just want to clear up that very first paragraph. The BLM protest was planned first and then flyers suddenly appeared for a counter-protest of Trump supporters and Blue Lives Matter supporters.

        Also the BLM protest was estimated to have 500 people attend.

        Reply to this comment
        • Staff

          Jun 06. 2020

          At the time we received word about this, it was not made clear who planned what first.

          Reply to this comment
    • gobnaitx

      Jun 05. 2020

      You could probably reserve a corner booth at Christo’s.

      Reply to this comment
  2. John

    Jun 05. 2020

    Aren’t we DONE with this stuff yet?? Why should we trust the organizers of this “peaceful” protest?? They have no control over what the marchers do in the end.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Harold

    Jun 05. 2020

    The organizers should be held accountable, legally and financially for any damages done during and after their so called “peaceful” protest.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Sue

    Jun 05. 2020

    The gathering from 11:00 – 3:00 today is to show support of our police officers. It’s not about supporting Trump. Heard this on the radio this morning.

    Reply to this comment
  5. The Independent

    Jun 05. 2020

    You have the right to protest but not have the right to wear masks.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jarhead

    Jun 05. 2020

    Why won’t they publish the names of the leaders? If things go south, it would be nice to know who to blame rather than a faceless mob.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Nancy Stratton

    Jun 05. 2020

    Their sign should say all lives matter not just blacks

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jared Phillips

    Jun 05. 2020

    This is ridiculous, 1 protest is enough, I don’t like not feeling safe and if riots break out, it’s on the mayor and the police chief.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Juanita E Dangleben

    Jun 05. 2020

    I am so glad that we had a very peaceful march in LP to represent unity.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Katryna

    Jun 05. 2020

    It’s not ‘what the marchers will do in the end”, it’s what the haters (both sides) do to instigate trouble.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Scott

    Jun 05. 2020

    It’s already started at 11:30. People yelling and cursing at Trump supporters across the street. It’s sad. People’s minds aren’t being changed, all that’s happening is hate is being demonstrated.
    God help this nation.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Robyn

    Jun 05. 2020

    God be with them in Laport!!!

    Reply to this comment
  13. sue

    Jun 05. 2020

    headline says 3 protests article says 2

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Jun 05. 2020

      First paragraph in the article refers to two confirmed by city officials, with a third planned by BLM.

      Reply to this comment
  14. Helen

    Jun 05. 2020

    Try something different people. Take a breath and calm down. There aren’t any wild mobs racing down Lincoln Way burning everything in sight. Think twice before repeating stories that someone’s third cousin heard from so and so. Wild stories are how people end up getting hurt.

    Reply to this comment

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