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City of Rockford issues statement on City Market cancelation

The city says they understand and respect the City Market organizers’ decision to close Friday evening.
(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 12:33 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The City of Rockford responded to calls from residents following the cancelation of the Rockford City Market.

The city says they understand and respect the City Market organizers’ decision to close Friday evening.

“It is a shame that the protesters’ past behavior, coupled with their recent rhetoric indicating they will be more aggressive, led the operators to this decision,” according to a Facebook post on Friday morning.

CITY MARKET: We’ve received a number of phone calls regarding the cancellation of tonight’s City Market. For the last 10...

Posted by City of Rockford Government on Friday, July 31, 2020

The statement continues, stating the city finds it disappointing that businesses participating in the market now must lose revenue. The city claims many are shops with less than three employees and are operated by women and minorities.

“In recent weeks, protesters have refused to comply with lawful orders to cease certain behavior, and appear unwilling to do so without our officers having to use physical force. Using force puts our citizens and officers in danger and a situation we chose to avoid at the market,” according to the Facebook post.

The city claims to have been working with the operators of the market and the Rockford Park District to create a plan to ensure the safety of patrons, vendors and officers. The city says they are willing to extend the boundary of the market to create a safety buffer between customers and protesters.

To create the buffer, the city would need cooperation from the Rockford Park District, which operates the two adjacent parks.

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