Weekend of Protest of Floyd Killing Begins With Over 1,000 in Bethlehem

Written by on June 1, 2020

Weekend of Protest of Floyd Killing Begins With Over 1,000 in Bethlehem

By Brad Klein

June 1, 2020

Organizers of the Black Lives Matter march stand on the stage of Bethlehem’s Rose Garden Bandshell as over 1,000 gathered and prepared to march through the city. Photo | Brad Klein / WLVR

Multiple protests took place in the Lehigh Valley over the weekend, responding to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last week, on Memorial Day. While marches in many cities across the country turned violent – those in the Valley remained peaceful overall. They began with a march in Bethlehem that drew over 1,000 people. 

Protesters assembled Saturday afternoon at Bethlehem’s Rose Garden Bandshell. The crowd was overwhelmingly young and roughly reflected the racial diversity of the Valley. Organizers took to the bandshell stage and expressed frank anger toward the police.

Protesters gathered in the Rose Garden Bandshell in Bethlehem before marching through the streets to Payrow Plaza. Photo | Brad Klein / WLVR

The crowd marched just over a mile to Bethlehem’s Payrow Plaza, chanting and holding signs decrying indifference in the face of perceived police brutality and widespread racism.

Arial is a twenty-something Bethlehem resident who joined at the last minute. 

It’s really amazing and it’s really nice to see people of all colors coming together… to support the cause…”

As the crowd dispersed, a few protesters advanced toward the handful of Bethlehem police. The tension was defused by organizers and volunteers who kept protesters away from the police and their vehicles.

People then gathered again at the Rose Garden in Bethlehem for more speeches. WLVR News and PBS39 reporter Ben Stemrich went on Facebook Live during the speeches after the march. Watch below.



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