ELLIJAY, Ga. – Both protesters and police commented tonight with two words that many have not heard recently in news, a “peaceful protest” in Ellijay concluded despite rain and counter-protests in the area.
Authorities prepared after permits were approved yesterday, June 3, for a planned protest expecting 25 to 30 people in attendance. Even Eloisa Rafael, one of three students who were the organizers of the event along with Pedro Chavez and Nashely Hernandez, said that they were expecting around 25 people when they were planning and speaking with friends.
Instead, what the three students saw, were preliminary estimates closer to 200 people gathered in and around the roundabout in Downtown Ellijay with signs, speeches, and chants for support of the Black Lives Matter movements and for prominent names in both media and movements around the country.
All three of the organizers voiced their surprise and excitement at the larger turnout saying that they felt very encouraged by the level of community support in that way.
As protestors began the rally at 4:00 p.m., organizers called for peace and non-violence as they voiced opinions and chants, one man even stood to call for dialogue with police as he said that without dialogue, there can be no change. One of their first speakers, Pastor Robert Diaz, spoke a prayer over the gathering before offering words of encouragement for equality and rights saying, “We are going to make every effort, every day, to let our kids know, and our society know, that love shall prevail over hate, over discrimination, and whatever else.”
Diaz later said in an interview after the event that he was there to support the Black Lives Matter movement saying, “Obviously, all lives do matter, but in this instance, it is actually the black community that is actually more oppressed. We can see that all over, for decades… We are here as a nation, united, to raise our voice and to let the world know that this has to stop.”
Protesters continued under police supervision throughout their two-hour-long rally with speakers and representatives from the community including ministers and students who called for attention to social issues including the death of George Floyd and other media reports of police violence.
Protest organizer Nashely Hernandez said, “I helped organize this today because people need to stop being judge just because of the color of their skin.”
Others echoed the sentiment saying that the message of love and cooperation was central to what they wanted to convey. Local minister, Reverand Adam Bradley, of the Cherry Log Christian Church said, “Be Love” as he spoke to those gathered and offered his message of loving each other in the community.
After allowing certain community members to step forward to speak as well as prepared speakers, chants rang out through the downtown area as they continued their demonstration. Before long, a second group had formed on North Main Street counter-protesting the demonstration. Police stepped in to keep the groups separate, and while chants and rhetoric came from both sides, police and authorities maintained order in the separation of the groups throughout the rally’s length.
Police involvement stretched beyond one entity, however. The Ellijay Police Department lead permitting and planning for the event. However, authorities present at the event shared information that support and deputies came from all around the area as representatives of the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office and Fannin Sheriff’s Office along with other law enforcement officers from Whitfield and Cherokee Counties.
Protest organizer Pedro Chavez said, “We have had a good interaction with the police. We’ve had good communication. They understand what we’re here to do. They understand that we are here to protest peacefully… We appreciate their assistance, but we are here to protest against police brutality, against discrimination, against racism. But overall, we have had a good interaction with the police department.”
On the police side of the event, Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey said, “We couldn’t hope for a better event.”
He added that situations like today are always tense because of the unknown. But said, “The organizers were upfront with us and worked with us. That showed that they had a legitimate exercise of their first amendment rights.” As he addressed in an interview, one of the key points of the event was that the group pf protesters peacefully gathered and shared their message and peacefully left.
Those protesters pushed on despite counter-protests and even a bout of heavy rainfall, soaking many of those present as the stood in the center of the roundabout with only trees for cover. One protester repeatedly offered prayers throughout the event and continued his offerings through the same rainfall. He said he was protesting and stayed because “I think we all need to come together as a community, the police and the people, and put away the hate with love and prayer. Support Back the Blue and Black Lives Matter.”
Many others also offered support for both movements, including Karen Brown, who said, “There is no justice untill ALL God’s people are equal.”
Brown, a former teacher, referenced the “8 minutes 46 seconds,” a common reference to the death of George Floyd, as she too said that all lives do matter, but “right now the issue is black lives.”
As the rally concluded and protesters dispersed, many offered statements saying this is only the beginning and promises to each other that they would see them again soon. Eloisa Rafael also said she expects more, “I expect for this not to be the end of it. I expect for Ellijay to keep growing, keep changing, and understand that we are all equal.”
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Doing more than just a consideration for Gilmer High School students, the Gilmer county Board of Education is looking at plans and options to make sure something for graduation happens for seniors this year.
Not to be held back by the Coronavirus outbreak and shelter orders, the board looked at several options and discussed choices among themselves at this months work session. While Gilmer Schools Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs said that much of the comments from the public that she has spoken to say they want a real graduation planned for whenever the shelter-at-home ends, she did mention possibly looking at a video of sorts or livestream on May 22 when Graduation was supposed to be held.
She offered the option saying, “This is a May 22 commemoration of that date.” However, she asserted that Gilmer is not going to simply do a virtual graduation only if the public does not want it. They would still work towards the actual graduation later. She went on to note that these seniors are not just missing graduation, but honors night, scholarship night, and similar additional ceremonies recognizing these students and their hard work.
A video or livestream would fill in with families, individually visiting the field at different times and having there honors and scholarships announced to be pieced together in an overall video. However, this is still ideas. The BOE will continue planning and working with GHS and Principal Carla Foley to find the best plans and to involve students and parents in the plan.
An added note, some of the Board considered possibly holding prom later as well, but did not discuss it further as they wanted to focus on Graduation at this time. New information may come with tomorrow’s May 16 Regular Session or possibly next month.
EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office has released the arrest record including a felony charge for yesterdays incident near Clear Creek Middle School.
Mary Elaine Newberry, 59, was described as a disgruntled employee by Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs in a statement where she gave credit to a quick response from the School Resource Officer and the school’s security system for the quick response in locking down the school during the incident.
Newberry was taken into custody at the Transportation Facility next to Clear Creek Middle School by the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office as is now facing felony charge on Aggravated Assault.
According to reports from Gilmer Schools late yesterday, a firearm was involved in the incident. However, Dr. Downs confirmed there were no injuries or damage to the facility during the incident.
Despite the resulting lockdown and the school, Downs was reported yesterday saying, “Please know that our students were not in danger. This was implemented as a precautionary measure toward ensuring their safety.”
Tonight was January’s Attend to Achieve Night, Mr. Palmer gave away an Apple Watch, and gift cards. Students collected tickets over the month for attendance, completion of modules and or courses. Students are rewarded every month for their hard work and attendance with different awesome incentives.
Fire and Rescue Weekly Status Report
|Structure Fires||Brush Fires||Fire Alarms||Emergency Med Calls (EMS)||MVC (Vehicle Accidents||Vehicle Fires||Haz. Conditions||Search/Tech. Rescue||
DACA and US Citizenship
American citizenship should be earned not awarded for simply being here. That’s what laws are for, to give applicants a fair shot at getting in. There is a pathway to citizenship available for those outsiders who apply. Yes, it’s hard and lengthly but, so what? On top of that, Democrats defending Obama’s DACA Executive Order is unconscionable because it’s not law, but opinion only, and that’s the argument Democrats want to hang their hats on, Illegals over Americans.
So far, the really stupid visa programs initiated under a Democrat regime and supported by “Compassionate Conservatives,” who do not want to be smeared as racists or bigots, have swept aside the rule of law, in the name of “fairness.” America must atone for its undeserved prosperity by welcoming in the worlds great flood of unwashed, without conditions. Whoa!
The Democrats unrestricted illegal invasion program has met strong resistance in the form of Donald Trump who has said “No more!” meaning the unfettered importation of third world denizens from S__thole countries will end. For the present America is faced with solving the problem of the many Dreamers who arrived here years ago when our guard was down.
Here’s what I would accept concerning any DACA plan that attempts to legalizes the 800,000 “Dreamers,” kids who were brought here illegally by their criminal, gate crashing parents. Understandably they had no choice but like kidnap victims, they must be returned to their home country.
Democrats cite the unchanging DACA numbers at 800,000 because that’s how many Dreamers, more or less, who actually signed up for Obama’s ‘amnesty’ program. There is in fact over three million, but for purposes of negotiations, let’s stick with the Democrats number of 800,000, most of whom have matriculated into adulthood.
First, eliminate, out of hand, those who have failed to learn English, those with MS-13 and other gang affiliations, and any “dreamer” with one or more felony or firearms convictions. A few have matriculated through college and are employed in good jobs. Save them. Some have found low level jobs, started families and avoided accumulating police records. Save them too. Of the 800,000, only around 900 have entered military service on the promised path to citizenship. Save them. Chain migration must be eliminate. Assimilation does not occur when old family units are attached to and influence, accepted immigrants.
Democrats whine about Trump wanting to spend a one time cost of $18 billion to build a wall but ignore the annual $99 Billion taxpayers cost to cloth, feed, house, educate and provide medical care to the flood of illegals spreading over our country. The Visa program, the one that allows entry on a lottery system, has proven deadly and must not even be considered in negotiations.
Some national figures should be considered in this negotiation as well. 97% of immigrants in the Dreamers grouping identify themselves as Hispanic. By the fourth generation that number falls to 50%. Only 7% describe themselves as Americans, but only 56%, in the third generation, believe they are Americans. Even the use of Spanish slowly declines. The Democrats have abandoned Americas working class base to chase what they choose to believe is a racial group in harmony with their dream of a socialist state, when what they were actually chasing is the momentum of unlimited migration.
Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (24Jan18)
The Gilmer County Boys & Girls Club observed the national day of “Homeless Animals” recently by inviting the local Homeward Bound volunteers share their efforts on behalf of local animals who find themselves homeless. Their conversations with our elementary age members focused on the needs of all animals and how adoption efforts are a vital part of caring for the animal population of our community.
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Jennifer is the Director of Communications at Donald Trump for President.