Georgia Avenue to close June 20 as protesters plan to march

CSRA News

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – City Council members in North Augusta have approved a permit to close Georgia Avenue for drivers on June 20.

A protest against police brutality, injustice, inequality and several other issues is planned for that night.

“It’s about community and so I wanted something that I felt would pull people together,” said organizer Brandy Mitchell.

Mayor Bob Pettit explained, “To make sure we can properly control that and protect them from vehicular traffic, our code requires that they get a permit. If they’re on the sidewalk not impeding people, there’s no need for a permit. They’ve asked specifically to go up Georgia Avenue.”

“This is a loving town. We care about all of our citizens. I think this is going to be a very peaceful, good thing,” said Councilman Eric Presnell.

Mitchell added, “I am a member of our community. I’ve been here for four years and we will be stressing that this is a peaceful demonstration. And we won’t tolerate any craziness.”

It’s planned for the protest to start at 5:00 p.m. at the Municipal Building so there will plenty of space to park. Then protestors will go up Georgia Avenue to Calhoun Park and the Meriwether Monument.

“I’ve been involved with trying to get a workable solution in Calhoun Park. Recognizing the Meriweather Monument expresses an undesirable opinion. Working with a group of people to make it an educational experience to say this is not what we’re about,” said Mayor Pettit.

At Calhoun Park, several people will give speeches, and address the issues.

Mitchell said those who own businesses along Georgia Avenue are not really concerned about property damage. “All of them are pretty much like ‘we don’t anticipate anything happening.’ They’ve seen all the protests on the Georgia side of the river also in Aiken so that gives them a good place to stand and to see how it’s going to be.”

Mitchell added she’s thankful the North Augusta City Council approved the permit.

The protest should wrap up around 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.

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