Rallies continue in Mountain State; large gathering scheduled for Sunday at state capitol postponed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Rallies in West Virginia based on the recent police custody death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd continued Friday but what was expected to be the largest rally yet in the state has been postponed.

The “I Can’t Breathe WV” rally and protest scheduled for the state Capitol for Sunday won’t happen.

The organizers of the event, which anticipated to have a few thousand participants, announced on Friday afternoon it would be pushed back due to the severity of safety concerns brought to the organizer’s attention during a discussion with public officials and law enforcement.

“Our movement is bigger than one event. We must reassure one another that tolerance and love will always overcome hate,” said Casey Jewell, an event organizer. “We hope to have the new date as soon as possible and thank everyone for their support and understanding. Peace and safety are our number one priority in organizing this event and we hope to have your continued support.”

The protests seen around the nation are for protesting the death of Floyd, social injustice and police brutality.

“I strongly encourage people to not show up at the Capitol on Sunday,” said event organizer Aubreyana Shaffer.

“One of our biggest concerns is the safety of our participants. As we reassess our security plans, we will work with public officials and law enforcement. In addition, we will continue to work collaboratively with POC community leaders to ensure our event effectively brings awareness to issues affecting those in our City, State, and Nation.”

A new date for the rally has not yet been finalized. A release said the organizers are working with POC leaders in the community to finalize plans, including those to ensure the safety of those attending and participating. A new date will be announced in the coming weeks.

Residents did take to the streets of Logan Friday afternoon with signs reading “Is My Brother Next?” and “All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter.”

It was a peaceful protest that went from Middleburg Island through downtown and back.

The City of Huntington and Mayor Steve Williams release a statement on Friday afternoon regarding safety during rallies and on the Antifa group.

“The City of Huntington has not received any credible information of Antifa planning an event in Huntington. At this time, it appears this is a rumor meant to instigate fear and panic,” Williams said.

“However, we will continue to monitor closely. The City is prepared to protect the safety, property and First Amendment rights of all of its community members. I am hearing from fellow mayors that similar rumors are being spread in their communities as well. We will not be frightened away from our community values of love, support and inclusion.”

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