Police vow to arrest City Market protesters who ‘breach peace’
ROCKFORD — The Rockford Police Department announced Friday that anyone who causes an illegal disruption at City Market Friday will be subject to arrest.
The news comes a week after 11 protesters were arrested last Friday even though the market was canceled. Market officials have since expanded its footprint to include Marino Park as a way to separate the event from demonstrators.
The grounds will now included a designated protest area–the south end of the park at the corner of East State and Water streets.
“Those who violate the law causing a breach of peace or infringing on other people’s rights, outside of the designated protest area, will be subject to arrest,” police said in a statement.
City Market has been the site of a anti-police demonstrations for the past month. Demonstrators have used bullhorns, sirens and music to protest the event. Organizers say the market is a symbol of oppression, vowing to disrupt it until local leaders reprimand police officers they say assaulted citizens on May 30.
“The City of Rockford, Rockford Police Department, and Winnebago County Sheriffs Office has done more work on trying to limit a protest than they have on fixing the reasons we continue to protest,” protest organizer Leslie Rolfe said in a Facebook post. “HISTORY and VOTERS will remember where these people stood at during this time. THE DEMONSTRATIONS WILL CONTINUE! Martin Luther King Jr. marched against an injunction from the court!”