Rally, march set for Saturday in Clarksdale

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

Clarksdale will see a rally and march Saturday evening in response to the death of George Floyd who died in police custody in Minneapolis May 25.

City officials said Saturday the rally has changed its location and will be held at the Delta Museum Stage on East Yazoo Avenue in Downtown Clarksdale at 4 p.m. June 6 and should finish about 7 p.m. with the march.

“This event is being organized by a group of young adults from Ole Miss who have family that live here,” said Mayor Chuck Espy, at a city board meeting Thursday. “I hope people will participate and show love. We need to embrace each other and stay in this together.”

Espy said the event is being hosted by Yasmine Malone.

A link from Malone’s Facebook page bills the event as “Clarksale Community Empowerment Rally.

“This is a youth led and organized rally for black livelihood in our country and in our community,” the post said. “We realize that issues of racism and inequality exists in many forms in our region.

“We also acknowledge several community issues that impact the lives of residents in our community that must be addressed once we build collective power,” the post continued. “We seek the positive transformation of Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta to empower current and future generations.”

Clarksdale Police Chief Sandra Williams said she was aware of the rally and briefed the mayor and city council at noon Thursday.

Williams said she initially heard that two busloads of Antifa protesters were coming to Clarksdale but an investigation by the department indicates that is strictly social media rumor.

“We also heard there was to be a rally in Cleveland Wednesday night and a rally in Clarksdale Thursday night,” said Williams. “My sources have told me the rally in Cleveland was organized and aimed at police and the City of Cleveland.”

Chief Williams said no rally would be held in Clarksdale Thursday.

She went on to say the organizers of the planned Clarksdale rally do not appear to be a affiliated with either of these groups.

Williams did say Clarksdale Police will be providing traffic control and security for the event.

Williams said she has also been told rally organizers do not need a permit for this event.

The city also passed additional state executive orders related to COVID-19 requiring masks, social distancing and allowing gathering of up to 100 people as long as individuals stay six feet apart.

While the city has allowed most businesses to reopen, Clarksdale is still under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew.

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