Katy Student Organizers Expecting a Peaceful Protest and are Grateful for Katy Community Support
KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 4, 2020
A crowd of about 1200 is expected at Katy Park tonight in a Black Lives Matter and City-sanctioned event protesting the killing of George Floyd. The event will be held at Katy Park from 5-8 PM on Thursday, June 4. The park is located at 24927 Morton Rd.
Event organizers and city and county officials are asking attendees to wear masks and use social distancing measures. The protest was originally going to be held in Mary Jo Peckham Park, but Police Chief Diaz assisted the organizers in moving the event to a larger park to accommodate the attendees.
In Houston Tuesday, officials estimated more than 60K people marched with the Floyd family and attended a rally in front of City Hall.
Although the crowds at the Katy rally will be considerably smaller, local authorities will be present.
"We're going to be out there assisting to make sure all protestors are safe," says Jeff McShan, Public Information Officer, Precinct 5 Ted Heap's Office.
City of Katy Chief of Police J. Noe Diaz recognizes that the protest in Katy is intended to be peaceful, providing a platform for the public to voice their concerns.
"As the public safety of all participating persons is our upmost concern, the Katy Police Department will be on location with other local law enforcement agencies to ensure the integrity of the protest," says Chief Diaz. " Additional patrol coverage will be maintained throughout the city as a measure to provide public safety to Katy’s residents and business owners."
By all accounts, the protest in Katy is expected to be peaceful and has the support of many City of Katy officials. "I admire these young people for stepping out, says Janet Corte, City of Katy Councilmember. After seeing injustice, they are exercising their first amendment rights."
Corte says she is praying and hoping for a peaceful protest. "Let's show people how Katy does things peacefully and hope something good comes out of this."
Event Organizers Appreciate Community Support
According to event organizer Erika Alvarez, the City of Katy and the community have been instrumental in helping with this event.
“From park constables to the community itself, we would have achieved nothing if it wasn’t for people willing to help," says Alvarez, a Cinco Ranch High School student and one of the three original student organizers.
The other two are Foyin Dosunmu and Jeffrey Jin, both of Seven Lakes High School. Alvarez says the students initiated this protest to join others in Katy who share the same goals.
"To mourn for the Houston-native George Floyd and protest the systemic racism faced by black people every day in this country.”
Residents Make Decisions About Attending Rally
I’m attending the rally to support change,” says Amy Kaplan, a resident of Old Katy. “It’s one of the few ways we have to support change besides voting.”
Some Katy residents have decided not to attend the rally because of COVID-19 and the social distancing risk, especially after seeing news coverage of protesters at other rallies not wearing face masks.
Alvarez said the community has also stepped up to donate everything needed for a successful event. From sound systems, to ASL interpreters, to clean-up help, the group has received many offers for assistance.
Several elected officials have been contacted and are expected to attend and possibly share a few words, including State Representative Gina Callani, Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton, Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins.
Although this is a student-led protest, the organizers are expecting people from all ages, races, and walks of life, including many of their teachers, supporters, and parents.
"We would like to give a huge thank you to the Katy community. Nothing would’ve been possible without them and the amount of support that we’ve received is unbelievable," says Alvarez.
For more information, click here Katy for Black Lives Matter Protest.