Black Lives Matter Alliance Palm Beach says the third-party that interrupted their demonstration on Saturday was a group of protesters who were actually leading the “March For Peace.” That “March for Peace” event was scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in West Palm Beach. “We had met with them about a month ago to try and arrange a joint organized and peaceful demonstration,” says Black Lives Matter organizer Kyla Edme. She adds that Black Lives Matter and the March For Peace group had been in discussions to merge their events, but had different agendas. “For example, she does not want to work with police, and we have no problem working with the police. We wish her no ill will,” Edme explains. “No, we are not working with the police,” the third-party spokesperson screamed on a bullhorn as they interrupted the Black Lives Matter program that started with a prayer.
By Beth Stibal |
The group, which consisted of 10 people, said they were demonstrating a few blocks away at the Palm Beach Courthouse. Their spokesperson said they were angry at the Black Lives Matter organizers for working with the West Palm Beach Police Department to hold their event. Rick Morris, Deputy Chief Of Police, came out of the police station and told the third-party, “This is a peaceful protest, you’re agitating, you’re going to leave.” A brief standoff ensued at that point between two West Palm Beach Police officers, Black Lives Matter, and the third-party, for nearly six minutes. After the third-party left, Morris told demonstrators, “My job is to protect everybody. I saw you guys were in trouble, and I came out to help you. I’m going to go back into the police station.” Francky Pierre Pau, one of the Black Lives Matter organizers, says he is worried that the agitators will give the public the wrong message about his mission. He goes on to say that Black Lives Matter believes in tactics that always involve peaceful protesting against law enforcement that use too much force and systemic discrimination.