PEACEFUL PROTEST

By George Smith

In my seven-plus decades, I have participated in three protests: In 1967 I  was one of 12 young college students to protest America’s involvement in the Vietnam War; in 1985 in Marshall, Texas, spoke to a “Sweep the Rascals Out” protest concerning bad government in general and in D.C. in general;  last night, June 11, joined a peaceful protest in Prescott, Ark., with the aim of obtaining justice for all citizens, a Black Lives Matter event.

All masked-up and maintaining the suggested social distance, I participated in the event on behalf of my friend-daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Cleon, our three biracial grandkids, Bryan, Brayden and Marley, and our other four grands — Piper, Annie, Jordyn and Colton — plus our two biracial second-cousins, Mattie and Ann Marie.

I also wanted to stand up and be counted in the global movement aimed at ending injustice to black citizens in particular.

More than 35 people from as far away as Mena, Ark., 100 miles, participated in the protest.

Hannah Wiley, the young organizer of the protest, set the tone for the event by holding an eight minute, 23 second moment of silence in memory of
George Floyd, the black citizen who died at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

BobJean had planned on attending but deferred until the next protest due to working too long and too hard in the yard and wearing herself out.

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LET’S END RACISM NOW TOGETHER

I’m writing to denounce the shameful spreading of misinformation by the Harrison County Republican Party Chairman, along with some of his fellow party chairs in our state, in posting the conspiracy theory that George Floyd’s brutal murder on Memorial Day in Minneapolis was a “staged event.” There is no evidence that the senseless, unjust killing of Mr. Floyd was staged. Normally, denunciation of such an irresponsible action should, as they say, “go without saying,” but, over the past few years, divisive, hateful, and untrue things have been said and spread with such frequency that they have become almost normalized. We must never allow the spreading of lies to become accepted or normalized. It tears at the very fabric of our civil society and democracy.

I write this from the perspective of someone who not only loves America and our founding principles of liberty, equality, and justice for all more than words could ever say, but also from the perspective of someone who has volunteered more time than I could ever calculate over the past 25 years to help bring progress and unity to a community and region I love. And when people spread falsehoods and conspiracy theories—and, I believe in this case, when they do it for partisan reasons—nothing but harm and hurt can result. It’s not only harmful to the grieving family who has lost a loved one, but also to a grieving nation who, for many of us, have hearts that break every day knowing the reality that racism, a scourge that has plagued our nation’s history from its beginning, still exists. The only way we’re going be able to end systemic racism is by working together, not by stoking division. As one of our nation’s mottos says: “E Pluribus Unum” Out of Many, One. That’s a very clear directive. We must do this together. We must do this with understanding, empathetic hearts, with steadfast intentionality, and with reality-based information.

In preparing a home-made sign to carry at one of the peaceful marches in Marshall this week, I thought to myself, “What would be a helpful and healing message to share?” I knew that the word “together” would need to be included and, as I wrote the words on the sign, I was filled with a deep sense of hope that maybe this time, finally, finally, we can bring about meaningful change—along with strong policies—to address this long-standing, profound injustice. Standing on the shoulders of the brave, resolute people who have gone before and for all who continue to work for the cause of justice today, I write these words of hope:  “Let’s end racism now together. Let’s end racism now forever.”  As the pandemic has taught us, we are indeed all in this together and I appreciate all people of good faith who are working to make much-needed changes successful so that our beloved America can be stronger and better now and in the future.

Christina Cocek Anderson

Marshall, Texas

 

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Marshall City Openings

[Marshall, Texas, June 5, 2020]

Effective Monday, June 8, 2020, Marshall city leaders will open the following city buildings and services to citizens. This decision aligns the city with the latest Executive Order GA-26 from Governor Greg Abbott.

  • Outdoor public events less than 500 people
  • City park playgrounds and basketball courts
  • Marshall Visual Art Center – Only paid renters of art cages will be allowed access
  • City Hall Community & Economic Development Department for permits and code enforcement

The City of Marshall will hold City Commission meetings utilizing a video and audio conferencing tool, as well as a standard conference call.  Instructions and direct links to view meetings or speak during Citizen Comment are at http://www.marshalltexas.net.

The City of Marshall urges all citizens to follow Governor Abbott’s Standard Health Protocols.

  • All businesses should continue to follow the minimum standing of health protocol for DSHS. For details and a full list of guidelines, please visithttp://open.texas.gov.
  • Individuals are encouraged to wear appropriate face coverings.
  • People should not be in groups higher than ten when possible.
  • People over the age of 65 are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
  • People shall avoid nursing homes, state-supported living centers, assisting living facilities, or long-term care facilities.

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