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Saranac Lake demonstration today to protest Floyd death

SARANAC LAKE — A rally to demand justice for George Floyd, a black man who died in handcuffs as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. today in Riverside Park.

The protest is being organized by the High Peaks chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, a progressive political action organization.

One of the local DSA organizers, Erin Cass, said the village of Saranac Lake is not currently issuing permits to hold events in village parks such as Riverside, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but she said village officials said protesters could use the park as long as all those who show up wear masks and practice social distancing.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 140 people had RSVPed for the event on Facebook, with 290 people indicating they were interested in attending.

“Join us as we demand justice for George Floyd and the countless other victims of police violence, murder, and white supremacy!” the High Peaks DSA wrote on Facebook. “Bring signs! If you are not comfortable going outside with a mask, please drive by and honk in support from your car with signs! We love pups, but please leave four-legged friends at home!”

Organizers emphasized that masks and social distancing are required, and they plan to have people stand stretching out along River Street toward the Lake Flower boat launch.

The Saranac Lake rally follows a peaceful rally in Keene Valley on Sunday that drew almost 150 people, as well as widespread protests around the world, some of which have turned violent.

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