As protests and marches continue to show support for George Floyd in the wake of his death at the hands of Minneapolis Police last week, an event is being scheduled in Monticello Saturday.
The Monticello Chamber is making the community and protestors aware there is also an event planned in conjunction with the protest to keep the peace.
The Chamber has released a statement indicating there is no expectation the protest will become violent or get out of hand and organizers of the event are coordinating with the Monticello Police Department. Additionally, those that attend may chalk the sidewalks, use speaker systems, and hang flyers in windows.
There has also been a Facebook event created by the Central Illinois Citizens for Freedom called Patriots United to Protect Monticello, IL. This event is encouraging people to protect Monticello and asks them to bring their motorcycles and conceal carry weapons with the intent of keeping the event peaceful.
In the statement, the Chamber says quote - "We are not trying to create alarm, but make sure you are aware. We will be working to get full details in the morning from the city and police department. Further information will be passed along."
To accommodate the expected crowd, the Chamber and City of Monticello are encouraging those that have a business in downtown Monticello Saturday to park in the parking lot behind the FroYo store and for business owners to make any patrons they know to be coming to the square aware of the situation.
Additionally, for restaurants that have set up outdoor seating, they are encouraging them to make patrons aware of the event if crowds have not arrived at the time of their seating.
Also in the release, the Chamber says quote - "As of yesterday, a plan was created for the demonstration in conjunction with the City and the Police Department. The planners of the Demonstration for Justice and Peace have been very open to working with the City and Police Department. Around 10 am our PD/City staff will begin barricading some streets on the square to prevent through traffic. Those participating in the demonstration have been asked to park in the parking lot adjacent to the City Building/Livingston Center/Depot. From 11-12 they will informally meet on Washington St at the Northside of the courthouse. They may be making signs, milling around and talking, etc. There will be 2 speakers at noon. After the speakers, the demonstrators will march from the north side of the courthouse to Charter St, then to Main St, then to Independence St, then to Livingston St, back to Charter St, to Main St and end on the south side of the Courthouse. Along the way, they may take a knee for 7 mins (once or more times). There will then be 2 speakers after the march and they will disperse. This path is narrowed from the original plan that included Rt 105.
"Please recognize that neither the City of Monticello or Monticello Police Department has the right to tell them where they can or can not protest. The group has voluntarily worked with both to create an understanding and to promote safety for all involved. However, they could adjust the planned route, and law enforcement is prepared for that possibility. Also, there may be people with bags and backpacks. There is not a possibility to search everyone upon entering from all directions, therefore, the law enforcement on-site will be vigilantly watching."