Delaware County Council Comments on Black Lives Matter Counter Protests in Ridley Township

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Released: August 5, 2020

On August 1, a Black Lives Matter group organized a peaceful gathering in Ridley Township. The event was organized by Delco Resists, a grassroots organization created to raise awareness about racial injustice in Delaware County.

According to videos and photos from the event, as well as the reports of those in attendance, a significant number of counter-protestors also gathered, yelling at and threating members of Delco Resists, including shouting racial slurs and displaying acts of intimidation. Among the counter-protesters at least one Confederate flag was also displayed. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is no claim of “heritage” where the Confederacy is concerned. Regardless of the intent with which it was displayed, anyone marching to confront racism would reasonably interpret it as a symbol of white supremacy and racial intimidation.

While we would all prefer to ignore such bigotry and pretend it didn’t occur, when acts of outright racial intimidation occur in our community, it is incumbent on all of us to denounce them. Even if it is not your neighborhood or town, if it happens to one of us, it happens to all of us. The actions of the counter-protestors reflect negatively on our community, and Council is saddened that this type of behavior occurred on a day that was created to bring about awareness and change.

The actions displayed over the weekend do not reflect what Delaware County is as a whole- a community who stands together and has compassion for our fellow residents.

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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