Protests to continue in downtown Rockford

Local activists plan to stand outside the Winnebago County courthouse while protestors charged appear in court.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 4:48 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Sirens and loud music are what you can expect to hear for the forseeable future while entering the Winnebago County Courthouse.

"We haven't forgotten about what happened and we haven't given up and we are still exhausting options and trying to find new ways to get some kind of justice," Said Leslie Rolfe, May 30th Alliance.

Rolfe said he plans to create a disruption in front of the courthouse, as he’s looking to bring awareness to a protest where ten people were criminally charged.

"They are going to come out disgruntled because they feel like justice isn't working in their favor. But they get to come out and hear that there are people who feel the same way they feel," Rolfe said.

Rolfe said he continues to protest so people don’t forget the injustices that have happened.

"We get people to drive by that may give you the black power fist or the middle finger but it is always some type of reaction. So it's working," Rolfe said.

"It is a little loud, a little distracting and it made me feel a little uncomfortable walking in the courthouse," said William Gibson, Rockford community member.

Gibson took care of some business at the courthouse during the rally and says while he respects their rights he feels there should be a better way to go about it.

"I wish people would just protest peacefully. They don't have to make a bunch of noise, make a bunch of nonsense," Gibson said.

Over the past month, protests have taken place at food truck Tuesday and City Market causing organizers to cancel Friday’s event, releasing a statement saying:

”We are saddened at the environment that has existed during the last few Fridays at the market and are very concerned about the proximity of vendors and market goers to the protestors who have been and continue to be very aggressive and disruptive with their actions,” said Peter Provenzano, Rock River Development Partnership chairman.

Rockford City Market will resume Friday, August 7.

Rolfe plans to continue protesting outside the courthouse over the next few weeks while the 10 charged protestors appear in court.

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