Sunday Pottstown Walk Promotes Peace, Equality

Pottstown is at the center (above) of this portion of a Wikipedia map that shows locations across the U.S. that have hosted memorial protests of 100 or more participants honoring the life of George Floyd

POTTSTOWN PA – Raising awareness about racism and related injustice, and promoting “peace and equality,” are the goals set for a second weekend rally scheduled for Sunday (June 7, 2020) that is sparked by the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, its planners said Thursday (June 4).

The coming event is organized by Pottstown resident Troy Rivera, with support from the Pottstown Police Department, the Pottstown branch of the NAACP, and other local organizations. It officially begins at 5 p.m. from Smith Family Plaza outside Pottstown Borough Hall, 100 E. High St., but participants can gather in the park from 4 p.m. on.

It follows on the heels of similar, impromptu event held last Sunday (May 31). Observers labeled that peaceful protest as a successfully unifying experience, which organizers hope to repeat. It will feature several speakers, and a march to demonstrate solidarity among people from throughout the community.

Plans include a voter registration table with representatives from both political parties, as well as a table set up by the YWCA Tri-County Area where participants can sign a pledge supporting unity among people of all races.

“This is about uniting Pottstown in a peaceful way and showing we can come together to stand against racism and violence,” Rivera said.

Several businesses already have volunteered to donate refreshments for participants who wish to enjoy additional fellowship following the march, at around 6:30 p.m. Additional food donations are being welcomed; interested vendors should call Rivera at 484-719-3101. Steps will be taken to ensure all food is provided under current Center for Disease Control guidelines.

All participants are asked to wear masks, and to be respectful of social distancing expectations. A limited number of masks will be available for distribution, but residents should make every effort to bring their own.

Guests also are asked to wear black or white shirts if they can, or attire that represents businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations that stand behind values of justice and equality.

The Pottstown Police Department and other area police representatives will participate. Officers intend to walk side-by-side with citizens to share their outrage and concern about racially motivated injustice, violence, and other issues. U.S. 4th District Rep. Madeleine Dean is expected to attend, as well as other area dignitaries.

Older citizens are welcomed to bring chairs so they can sit during the event. Organizers said they also hope to see young residents come out to learn about the issues and ideals embodied by the event.

Rivera, a 2016 Pottstown High School graduate, is studying criminal justice at Montgomery Area Community College. He also is a day care teacher at the YWCA Tri-County Area, and operates a home improvement business.

Map from Wikipedia, used under a Creative Commons license