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Community rallies in support of Black Lives Matter



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Several hundred protesters chanted and held signs at the intersection of Cottage, Union and Main Streets last Tuesday in support of the national Black Lives Matter movement. (Photo by Angel Larcom) (click for larger version)
June 27, 2020
LITTLETON — Tuesday, June 9, more than 300 people gathered on Littleton's Main Street to participate in a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. The three-hour event was police-sanctioned and organized in two days.

The brainchild of Jamie Allore, last week's demonstration was a local response to police brutality and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer. Co-organizer Anna Briggs said they utilized social media to spread the word.

At first, the organizers anticipated no more than fifty people would attend. "Honestly, we never expected it to get that big. It just took off and it was crazy. We were all speechless," noted Briggs.

The organizers reached out to the Littleton Police Department, seeking a permit. The narrow turnaround time prevented permitting, but Briggs said the police were supportive in their guidance on how to host the protest safely.

Deputy Chief Chris Tyler said of the rally, "It was coordinated and done in an organized manner. Folks came into town and were very vocal about what they wanted out there. The misconception of it being a huge disruption was quickly quelled. The group was overall very respectful of the environment while putting out their message."

Despite one instance where opposing factions become verbal with one another, Tyler said there were no arrests.

"One of the involved parties had an open container in their vehicle, so that was a separate discussion from their views," he stated.

The demonstration started at one o'clock Tuesday afternoon and a minute of silence was initiated at 1:30 with the ringing of bells at All Saint's Church. Briggs said church officials were not only responsive about the request to ring the bells but also helped spread the word to parishioners via email.

"After the minute of silence, we marched from the Opera House to the Courthouse and back. I felt like that was one of our peaks for the rally because there were so many people at that point. That was when we really started to hear the voices of everyone," stated Briggs.

The event organizer continued, "We passed around the megaphone, allowing other people to speak and list off the names of victims of police brutality. We didn't want to make it just about George Floyd. He is definitely a big part of this, but we also wanted to make sure other names were listed."

When asked if there would be future rallies Briggs said, "I think the event lit a fire for many of us. We didn't expect it to be so big, and it empowered us even more to keep this going. Just one day isn't enough."

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