Grayson Mayor George Steele confirmed local officials are aware of plans for another Black Lives Matter protest this Sunday, and possibly for several more weekends, although the city will handle several aspects of the situation differently during future demonstrations.
“All in all, Sunday was not a bad day at all,” Steele said Thursday, June 30, 2020.
No streets will be closed during the protest planned for Sunday, August 2, the mayor said. The city only requires a permit if there is a request to close streets – “There is no permit required. That’s a constitutional right.”
“If they march, they’re going to march to their own peril,” Steele said, explaining the protest organizer has not indicated plans for another march. “He just plans to speak and voice his concerns.”
Mayor Steele, who spent 15 years teaching history and civics to local students, said protesters and counter protesters alike are exercising their constitutional rights, and the city of Grayson has a duty to allow citizens that freedom.
“Even if you disagree, they have a right to protest, And, those who are against it have the same right,” he observed.
The mayor smiled as he praised the efforts of the team of law enforcement officers who kept the peace when tensions heightened last weekend.
“It was a textbook plan carried out to perfection,” he said. “Nobody was scratched.”
Who pays for it?
Grayson Code Enforcement Officer Duane Suttles was also present when the mayor spoke to the Carter County Post, and was quick to offer an answer to the question of who pays the bills for protest-related costs.
“The taxpayers are paying for it,” Suttles said bluntly.
Noting Grayson’s Street Department was part of the team last Sunday, Suttles said everyone involved was pleased to find no major mess left behind on the streets and sidewalks at the end of the day.
“There were just a few water bottles and cans,” he said, adding that participants did an excellent job filling the trash cans downtown.
Story by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post