With just a few days notice, some Peoria residents put together a “Back the Blue” rally on Saturday, August 15th. Americans are familiar with the age-old figure of speech, “Will it play in Peoria?” Well, this event played quite nicely in America’s heartland. It went off safely without a hitch.
It took place in the city where a few days before, a couple of 13-year-olds had their lemonade stand robbed by a couple of future particle physicists.
It also happened in the same city where local police officers then came out to support the two lemonade stand entrepreneurs.
Even with the short notice, over one hundred people participating and the turnout made a lot of people happy.
Sheila Traut spearheaded the event and covered all the bases.
The group marched from Liberty Park to the Peoria Police Department headquarters for some speeches and then on to the Peoria County courthouse before returning to Liberty Park. Some speakers were better than others — the business owners and immigrants beat the politicians hands down. And the bagpipes proved a nice touch.
Frankly, I was a little reticent about bringing the wife and babies, but kudos to the organizers. They had security for the event covered. Because I notice these things.
Very early on, the organizers spoke with the orange t-shirt clad security team. In the background on the parking structure, you can see not everyone approved of the rally. Image by Boch.
About 20 men and women in orange t-shirts did a great job on the perimeter of the group. Walking with a baby stroller, we brought up the rear and always had at least three orange shirts behind us watching our six.
It made me feel a lot better as I know other rallies to support the police have been targeted by troublemakers, including the one in Rockford a couple of weeks before. There, a number of violent fascists were arrested and police applied copious amounts of glorious pepper spray with the more unruly, violent thugs.
But even before the Peoria rally, Black Lives Matter folks hung a sheet expressing support for “Back the Black.” It kept everyone alert for trouble, no doubt.
When the march stopped at police HQ, the security team formed a double-layer protective ring around the Back the Blue participants. Obviously, they had communications and professionalism. Their presence was a smart move on the part of organizers.
Sadly, only a couple of other families brought youngsters, which suggests other parents opted to leave the kids at home out of concern for their safety, which is a shame.
Consider coming out to show support for rallies near you. Today’s police officers need to know that today’s cop-bashers don’t represent the majority of people.
Upcoming events include
- Saturday, August 22 in Urbana at Lincoln Square Mall. 1:30pm. Vine street side.
- Saturday, August 29th in Charleston at the Coles County Courthouse. 10am.
- Sunday, August 30th in Bloomington at GE Park. Noon.