In America, we have the right to peaceful protest. It is right to call out injustice when we see it. It is right to call for change.
And George Floyd’s May 25 death at the hands of Minneapolis police – caught on video by a bystander – is something that not only should appall all of us but also inspire us to become a better nation.
But when we received word that organizers were planning a protest and march on Tuesday in Clinton, we were concerned on a few different fronts.
What concerned us was what we were seeing on TV. Obviously we are not the size of the cities whose streets were flooded with thousands of people. But when we saw the violence and death taking place in Davenport from Sunday night into Monday, we feared what would or could happen here.
Would we be overwhelmed with people coming in from out of town who were here to cause damage for the sake of destruction?
On Monday into the evening, Clinton saw three fires that were believed to be the result of arson. So going into Tuesday, we weren’t sure what to expect. A curfew was imposed, and businesses boarded up.
But when the appointed hour for the protest arrived, speakers spoke and attendees marched. Other than the one person who was arrested for disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana after the protest was over, all was calm.
Kudos go to those who attended for demonstrating that an event marked with so much emotion can end well. Also, thanks to the police department and emergency workers whose presence was needed to watch over and stand by the protesters, and to our city’s mayor, Scott Maddasion, for getting plans in place for the just-in-case scenarios.
What is happening in cities that are experiencing destruction could have happened here.
Thanks to everyone who made sure it didn’t.