Socialists protest police in Madison
MADISON — Police say counter-protesters outnumbered protesters at a peaceful demonstration protesting police violence held at Strawberry Patch Park on Sunday.
Madison Police Capt. Kevin Newman said Monday that There were approximately 11 protesters from the Party for Socialism and Liberation group joined by approximately 19 anti-protesters. Madison Police and other law enforcement officers were also present in the park.
Newman said that the event lasted about two hours, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Newman said that the protesters maintained social distancing, were peaceful and that the park remained open and there was no major disruption of normal park activities.
“Each of the protesting groups maintained distance from each other during the event,” Newman said. “the event was peaceful.”
The protest was planned by the Party for Socialism and Liberation Mississippi. The event was called Speakout: Let Madison be Heard!
PSL social media noted that the rally was against police brutality and for black lives as it relates to events recorded both locally and nationally.
They claimed local issues included systemic racism and classism of the Madison Police Department as well as people who have died in the Madison County Detention Center.
Attempts to contact members of PSL Mississippi were unsuccessful.
On Friday, July 1, MPD released a statement concerning the protest that was posted on social media. It noted that MPD was aware of a Facebook post regarding a “rally concerning current political and social events occurring throughout the United States.”
“As stated in the past, our agency supports everyone’s right to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights to assemble,” the post went on. “We do ask that if an organized event is planned, that the organizers contact us to coordinate a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”
The post went on to encourage social distancing practices as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues. The post also noted that Madison is considered to be one of the safest cities in the state and nation.
“The Madison Police Department would like to remind the citizens of Madison that they continue to live in one of the safest communities in Mississippi and the United States and that our agency is wholeheartedly dedicated to continuing that tradition.”