LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Plans for upcoming protests in the city of Louisville were addressed in a press conference Monday with Mayor Greg Fischer and Louisville Metro Police. Fischer said he is monitoring and in communication with multiple groups of demonstrators.
One such group, Until Freedom, has planned a non-violent march Tuesday. According to the mayor, Until Freedom has no history of violence and their goal is to create “good trouble” in the spirit of late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA.)
Until Freedom has announced it will gather Tuesday at 2 p.m. for a “day of action.” The group will march from South Central Park to LMPD’s training academy. Until Freedom is a national social justice group that moved to Louisville in August.
The group is widely known for a demonstration in July at state Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s Louisville home where 87 people were arrested.
- ‘BreonnaCon’ convention in Louisville hosted by Until Freedom runs August 22-25
- Until Freedom plans ‘major action’ in Louisville, won’t comply with police restrictions on demonstrations
- Until Freedom: National protest group to relocate operations to Louisville
- AG Daniel Cameron: ‘Not acceptable’ for protesters to stage demonstration in his yard
Fischer said Monday the city will respond as appropriate to any additional groups that come to Louisville. He went on to critique rumors circulating on social media.
“One thing that we have observed since the protests began almost 90 days ago, is that many times rumors and stories have spread quickly on social media about a particular group coming to town and sometimes that has not materialized, and when it has, we have been prepared to handle the events that have taken place,” he said. “LMPD has plans in place and is ready to step in when needed to ensure order. Our citizens deserve that and I ask everybody to work with us on this goal of order and safety for everyone.”
Fischer announced his hope that upcoming protests are peaceful but he strongly warned against unlawful activity.
“Violence or property destruction is unacceptable and will be addressed immediately. That means we will not allow unlawful protests. If people are blocking traffic, creating dangerous conditions on our roadways, or trespassing on private property against the wishes of the property owner, the police will cite and or arrest them,” he said.
Fischer later spoke candidly about race and said everyone supports the goal of racial justice. He said the city welcomes peaceful protesters but he hopes to strike a balance between their right to protest and an "essential duty" to create public safety.
Major Aubrey Gregory with LMPD also addressed the media Monday with an update on recent protest activity. He said a series of events over the weekend planned by Until Freedom called “BreonnaCon” were peaceful.
Gregory also referenced a confrontation over the weekend between out of town protesters and live streamers. He said police responded to that situation but no police action was taken and the protesters eventually left.
He later added that police are aware that protesters from other states may take buses to attend protests on Tuesday.
In response to upcoming protests, some Louisville schools and businesses have announced they will be closed Tuesday. Mayor Fischer said Monday people are encouraged to go about their daily activities but they should also exercise common sense and judgment.
Fischer closed the press conference with an appeal to unity.
“That’s my message to all the protesters including Louisvillians here. Let’s demonstrate how we can do this together. Know that your Metro Government is strongly supportive of all these goals and... figure out how the best way to do it is together,” he said.
Tuesday has been designated an “All Work-Day” for Louisville police because of Until Freedom’s planned march. All police off-days are canceled Tuesday and all personnel will be required to be available for duty.
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