Rockford, Illinois News

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office issues warning to New Year’s Eve protesters

ROCKFORD — The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office has issued a warning to protesters who attend demonstration outside the jail Thursday night.

“We respect everyone’s right to peacefully gather and will have deputies standing by in an effort to keep those who attend safe,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. “We have established a designated demonstration area on the east side of the Justice Center near the Winnebago Street entrance. We want to take a moment to remind the community that those individuals who violate the law, cause a breach of peace, infringe on other people’s rights, or who pose a threat to public safety will be subject to arrest.”

According to a Facebook post by a group called Rockford Radical Abolitionists for Change, a demonstration organizers have named “New Year’s Eve Noise Demo” will begin at 10:30 p.m., at Haskell Park. Participants will then march to the jail with flags, banners, drums, and noisemakers.

“Let’s make some noise and ring in the New Year for our loved ones in the and comrades who are locked up in the Winnebago County Jail,” the post says.

The dedicated protest zone comprises two areas, one for event demonstrators and one for counter-protestors.

The march is expected to reach the jail at 11 p.m.

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