Two separate, but incredibly bizarre protests are planned by Black Lives Matter and their allies.
In Memphis, a group made of the New Black Panther Party and BLM are staging what they describe as a “massive peaceful protest” at Graceland.
They’re supposed to crash the place Monday during “Elvis Week,” and the night that thousands of fans get together at the singer’s legendary home for a candlelight vigil.
“We are calling for a massive nonviolent peaceful protest,” said Al Lewis, a “coalition” member, LocalMemphis is reporting.
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens is a collection of various leftist race-oriented and racist groups — Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter, Memphis Voices for Palestine, New Black Panther Party for Self Defense & Inward Journey, and the Memphis Grass Roots Organization — are among the groups planning to join the demonstration.
Lewis and other Coalition members shared their frustration over a meeting with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland this week and the persistent problems of poverty and unfairness they say the mayor has no plan to address.
“It’s a cornucopia of issues that our city suffers from and all we hear is the same thing. The same old thing is the definition of insanity,” he said.
The mayor’s spokesperson Ursula Madden also attended the Coalition press conference in front of City Hall and told reporters afterwards Strickland does have a plan.
Legal experts say the city will face serous constitutional challenges if police prohibit Black Lives Matter supporters from gathering in he same place thousands of others are doing the same thing.
The so-called “coalition” released a statement:
“The demonstration, set for Monday at 6:00 pm, is planned as a peaceful show of solidarity, unifying the people of Memphis against systems that promote poverty, violence, and economic disparity. Graceland was chosen as a protest site because it demonstrates one of Memphis’ most common forms of financial inequity and because the site has ties to a prominent case of police brutality that resulted in the death of unarmed teen Darrius Stewart.
“Graceland recently opened The Guest House, a new 450-room resort-style hotel in the heart of the African-American community of Whitehaven. The project cost more than $120 million to build and received upwards of $78 million in public funding and tax breaks. Project developers and city officials promised Whitehaven residents the project would be an economic boon to the community, but as has been case for decades, residents have seen little if any of that money ‘trickle down’ into the middle-class neighborhood’s economy. This is not an uncommon story.”
Further north, the Baltimore contingent of the same group staged a sit-in at a meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. The meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency on Sunday. Protesters refused to leave, blocking the escalator and chaining themselves to the railings, Baltimore’s CBS affiliate is reporting.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) August 14, 2016
— Baynard Woods (@baynardwoods) August 14, 2016
One Black Lives Matter activist said a member of the FOP threw a protester into a wall. There was no evidence of this, but it provided a great opportunity for protesters to become more agitated.
— asha rosa (@ashapoesis) August 14, 2016