Updated: June 25, 2020 08:56 PM
Created: June 25, 2020 06:55 PM
(ABC 6 NEWS) - On Thursday, Pine Island community members gathered on each side of Main Street to demonstrate their support for two different communities.
"We are organizing a solidarity demonstration for black lives matter for black members of our community and against police violence in our community," demonstrator, Alice Kopp said.
"Where protests are riots follow. We don't want that in our nice town. I have lived here for 40 years. Have nothing but the utmost respect for the fire department and the police department," demonstrator, Diedra Mensing said.
This comes after a Facebook post by City Council member, Kelly Liebold. She shared resources on anti-racism and discussed her belief that the criminal justice system is corrupt. In the post given to ABC 6 News, Liebold said the system was flawed. "There have been racists who are unsupportive of anti-racists in our community. Including people who are in our city council," Kopp said. Kopp wanted to show their support for communities they felt need it during this time. They said, "We wanted to stand against police murder, and stand for our black community members."
Other community members responded with a rally across the street from the Black Lives Matter demonstration. "We are here today because last Friday evening a video was posted on Facebook, saying our fire department and police department are corrupt. The only thing they said that because a flag for police lives matter was hung at our fire department. In respect of our police officers," Mensing said. The flag has since been taken down, and although they are different sides of the street...Mensing says "We all agree here in Pine Island all lives matter. I have African Americans in my family, I have every denomination of people you can come up with."
"I just haven't seen any public support for black lives in this community really ever, so we believe that it is important for us to be here so that our community members know they are supported," Kopp said. Both sides wanted to come out and share their voice.
We reached out to the Pine Island City Council, but they have not released a statement yet, but are working on one.
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