Black Lives Matter demonstration organizers Shyann Brown (left), Mauri Harris, and Bryce Laake and adult mentor Monique Breaux met with Marble Falls police, fire, and city leaders June 5 to plan for the upcoming event. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
Marble Falls Assistant Police Chief Glenn Hanson expects a peaceful and unifying Black Lives Matter demonstration.
In late May, a social media post announcing the demonstration caught many people, including the police, off guard. Hanson told Chandler the department quickly reached out to organizers, three 2020 Marble Falls High School graduates: Mauri Harris, Bryce Laake, and Shyann Brown.
While the youths just want their voices to be heard, Hanson said the initial announcement was met with anger and threats.
“They had immediately gotten a great deal of pushback and some violence threatened against them on social media, and so we invited them about the same time they invited us to work together so they have have a safe and peaceful protest,” Hanson said.
Organizers, police, Marble Falls Mayor John Packer, Marble Falls Fire Rescue Marshal Tommy Crane, and Marble Falls Area EMS Director of Operations Kevin Naumann met June 5 to go over event details.
Pastors from the youths’ churches and other adult mentors also attended the meeting.
The demonstration is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Park, 230 Avenue J. It was first planned for the intersection of U.S. 281 and RR 1431, but organizers and police agreed it was best to move it away from the busy spot to the park.
Organizers estimate 150-200 people will attend, which, according to Hanson, falls in line with similar events in other small towns.
The assistant police chief told Chandler that cities such as Fredericksburg, Lampasas, and Kerrville have all had peaceful Black Lives Matter protests.
The Marble Falls event, Hanson said, will start and end with a prayer circle. In between, local pastors will speak and organizers will ask those in attendance to “break bread together.”
“Just like the apostles were in commune with the Lord in breaking bread, they want for their message to be received as a peaceful one,” Hanson said. “And so they’re going to have a moment to break bread in the middle of their protest.”