SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NJ – In the wake of violent videos and images emerging from Rochester, New York, where Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted diners and shut down that city’s restaurants, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park officials have plenty of reason to be concerned. So far, BLM protests in Ocean County have been peaceful, but violence and looting was reported in Asbury Park and Atlantic City in the days after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
At an August rally, an altercation turned violent after a man confronted one of the BLM organizers. Initially, police blamed the BLM rallygoers, but a video released afterward shows that the aggressor may have been the man who was injured during the scuffle. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office is now investigating that matter.
Many reports indicate that in rural America, Black Lives Matter protests have been largely peaceful, but each night, violence and destruction in larger cities plays out on social media.
This weekend, BLM protesters in Rochester, New York overtook a restaurant and kicked diners out, broke windows and threatened random white people minding their own business throughout the city. As violence at BLM protests once again escalate, local officials must prepare for the worst case scenario.
Last weekend, a Point Pleasant Beach BLM rally ended peacefully after dozens of pro-Trump supporters showed up to host a counter-rally. Police assetts from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, State Police and surrounding towns were called to Point Pleasant as a safety precaution.
The BLM protest next weekend will begin at 2pm on Saturday. Protesters will organize in the community parking lot between Ocean Avenue and the boardwalk.
“The devaluing of Black lives is anything but new in America. We have seen the horrific violence perpetuated on the Black body since the first slave was kidnapped from Africa and brought to this tainted soil to the current continued oppression by modern day policing,” the organizers posted on their event page. “At a recent march in Seaside Heights we saw this continued mistreatment when event organizer was assaulted and then arrested for defending himself. Our justice system continues to support the brutalizing and murdering of innocent Black lives. We have to demand justice, we have to demand equality and equity and we do this NOW! We must RAISE our voices to DEFUND POLICE and keep the pressure on our elected officials. This movement CAN NOT stop and must continue!”