‘White Lives Matter’ rally, counter-protest planned in downtown Fargo this weekend
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Some in the Valley are on edge tonight as plans for a peaceful ‘White Lives Matter’ protest have surfaced on local posters and on social media.
Several other cities across the U.S. are preparing for similar marches taking place on April 11 at one p.m., which some reports state are being coordinated by extremists online.
Signs for the rally state that those participating in this weekend’s protest near Fargo City Hall should wear a mask not due to COVID-19, but ‘for anonymity’ purposes.
“The fact that they’re saying, ‘Oh, it’s so nobody knows who we are,’ I feel like that’s the problem. I feel like they know that they’re doing something wrong otherwise they wouldn’t need to be anonymous. If they were proud of it, they should show who they are,” Jaida Fosse said.
“It made me think of the 1940s and 50s when they used white sheets and cut holes in them,” Faith Dixon, a leader of the local Black Lives Matter chapter said.
Despite reaching out to potential leaders and participants, Valley News Live was unable to reach anyone organizing or involved in this weekend’s march. And Fargo Police say so far, they haven’t been able to either, but are trying.
The Fargo rally has now caused the local Black Lives Matter chapter and other community members to plan a counter-protest Sunday afternoon at Island Park, as ‘racism isn’t welcome in the Red River Valley.’
“We just need to let these folks know that this is not tolerated and that this is unacceptable,” Dixon said.
“I just feel like white people have never been oppressed so it’s a pointless rally to have. I don’t know what they’re trying to prove,” Fosse said.
“It’s always a safety concern that we might have someone who might not be in their right mind, or might want to see this turn into a race battle, or a race war, but we’re coming in peace,” Dixon said.
Dixon says the local BLM group members will make sure counter-protesters are as safe as possible, and urge if you’re going to join, violence and aggression will not be tolerated.
Fargo Police say the department respects every person’s right to peacefully assemble and protest and is prepared to work collaboratively with the community to keep residents safe. They say at this time there will not be a police presence or extra officers patrolling the area on Sunday.
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