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Local organizers are planning a peaceful protest in downtown North Bend this Saturday, June 6, from 2 to 5 p.m. “to Stand in Solidarity” and messaged “Come show your solidarity and stand with us! Remember, our message is about love, respect, and to raise awareness in our community with kindness.”
The organizers have reached out to the Snoqualmie/North Bend Police Department and the City administration to explain their plans to stand on sidewalks near the intersection of Bendigo Boulevard and North Bend Way in peaceful protest. In an email to the City, they wrote that they plan to adhere to social distancing guidelines and to wear masks and provide hand sanitizer and water.
The Snoqualmie/North Bend PD is doing its best to prepare for the potential for violence and looting in North Bend and will respond to any potential incidents accordingly. Accordingly, they are working with allied agencies as needed to ensure appropriate resources are present.
“We have been developing a plan and have had meetings with stakeholders to help with the plan. Part of that plan involves increasing our police personnel for the event and having additional resources on standby,” Police Chief Perry Phipps said. “Our stance will be to allow for the peaceful event and to not “police” those who are peacefully using their First Amendment rights and to focus on anyone that may be violating that peace.”
Our community is reminded that North Bend, like the rest of King County, is only in the now announced Phase 1.5 of the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Healthy Order. We encourage community members to limit travel to essential and permitted activities. We do understand that some storefront businesses, in an abundance of caution, may elect to shut down and secure their buildings for this demonstration. With all of this in mind, we encourage community members and visitors to avoid downtown and the area of the protests between 2:00pm and 5:00pm.
The SPD is prepared to respond to any potential incidents or criminal activity that could cause damage to our local businesses and the community. “We have been in discussions with the original people who started this event and we are anticipating that it will be peaceful. We are also aware of a group of local citizens who may be there to “protect” our community. This could present some new concerns as well,” Chief Phipps said. “We are doing everything possible to ensure public safety and encourage everyone to stand up for racial injustice through non-violence.”
The City and Snoqualmie/North Bend PD condemn racism and affirm the rights of people to peacefully protest against injustice.