A peace rally is being organized to take place in Washington Square in Newport on Saturday, July 9th from 1pm to 2pm.
The rally is in response to the officer involved shooting in Louisiana where Alton Sterling was killed on Wednesday, it has been called (as seen below) a “Black Lives Matter” rally by some members of the community.
Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this story, we used the headline that this would be a “Black Lives Matter Protest/Rally” based on information we received during a message, the organizer has asked that we change it to make it clear that this is a peaceful assembly.
Seneca Pender, who is a Behavioral Health Clinician at East Bay Community Action Program, shared the following on Facebook on Thursday;
“Anybody down for a peaceful protest in Newport this weekend? If anyone has any info on how to go about this in a legal manner please contact me. Please share with your friends. Thanks.”
Niko Merritt a member of NAACP Newport, RI, whose mission is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons in the community and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination, shared the message and following information on Facebook following Pender’s message;
“PEACE RALLY AT WASHINGTON SQUARE
SATURDAY JULY 9TH
SHARING FOR: Seneca Pender –
‘For those that are planning to come, if we wear t-shirts, I’d like to wear black and we can decide on the following of any thing else that you’d like to have.
1.Stop the hate
2. Stop the killings
4. Black Lives Matter
Or anything else you would like. A good friend suggests Washington Square as a place for our peaceful assembly and awareness. Instead of 2-3pm, I’ll be down there from 1-2 pm, hope you guys can join me.’
Pender shared the following as a comment on Niko’s Facebook update;
The plan is to meet at Washington Square at from 1-2pm on July 9th. I just want to bring awareness to these unjustified and senseless killings. I hope it will spark conversation and more action. This is just about respect for human life.
Other members of the Newport community began sharing the message, here’s what Liza Bean of Newport had to share on Facebook on Thursday evening;
Peace Rally :: BLACK LIVES MATTER :: Sat, July 9th, 1-2pm, Washington Square, Newport.
Make the time. Things need to change. Please share this post and spread the word.
Merritt shared the following message with What’sUpNewp on Thursday;
I am working to help spread the word for Coach Seneca here are the details: PEACE RALLY AT WASHINGTON SQUARE SATURDAY JULY 9TH 1-2PM SHARING FOR: Seneca Pender – “For those that are planning to come, if we wear t-shirts, I’d like to wear black and we can decide on the following of any thing else that you’d like to have. 1.stop the hate 2. Stop the killings 3. Hunted 4. Black Lives Matter 5. Endangered
Then on July 23rd at Park Holm Senior Center or behind it, we are having a peace rally we are confirming times now but we are trying to get the message through to the community that enough is enough AND that we need to start to rebuild and have that community pride return. -a sense of one so we can keep our kids safe. That one is by me and my non-profit that I’m starting- Sankfofa Community Connection.
For more information, visit the Facebook Event – A Peaceful Assembly for Awareness and Change
This story will be updated when/if more information is received.