North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- In June, North Augusta leaders approved a permit for a Black Lives Matter march. Last week, they approved another march, this time for a group supporting the Back the Blue cause.
The organizers said they wanted to show support for local law enforcement. They organized the March so others could be included in that show of support.
“Well, we just see so much negative stuff going on, and people talking badly about the police and treating them badly and so forth. And we were wondering why nobody had done it before,” said David Weikle, one of the organizers.
David and Maribeth Weikle said they were traveling home from a Trip to Florida, when they heard about two California police officers who had been shot. They felt they had to do something.
“We’re new to this. We’ve never organized anything before. But we think it’s real important that we let the police know we care about them and that we’re there to back them up,” David said.
The North Augusta City Council took a long time discussing the permit, but not because they didn’t plan to approve it.
“I think most of the discussion was just around the logistics of where it was going to start and that sort of thing. I don’t think there was a whole lot of discussion about where or not we should have it,” said Kevin Toole, a North Augusta City Councilman.
Councilman Eric Presnell says that he thinks everyone has a right to protest and make their voices heard. However, he isn’t sure why it has to go in front of the council instead of just being an application process. Toole agrees.
“I think it’s our Constitutional right to gather and I, one, don’t necessarily think that’s a city council…that it ought to be a city council decision to determine whether or not those should be allowed,” explained Toole.
The Weikles said they hope that people can soon begin to work out their differences.
“That’s the thing. You’ve got to talk. We got to start listening to each other. That’s the thing. A lot of people are talking. Not a whole lot of people are listening,” said David.
They also said that they are working hard on the event and are looking forward to it.
“We would appreciate the support, and the support of people coming out and being a part of it,” David said.
“It’ll be just a fun day, a fun afternoon,” Maribeth agreed.
“Yeah lets show them that we care,” David replied.
The March will be held on October 24th at 11 a.m. It will start at the Municipal building and end at Calhoun Park.