Rally for Tamir Rice and Leaders of Counter-Protest Seek Peace

A memorial grows larger on the picnic table underneath the pavilion near where Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police on Nov. 22 at the Cudell Recreation Center. Demonstrators are still gathering here on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, for on-going protests against the shooting of the 12-year-old who was holding an airsoft gun. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)
A memorial grows larger on the picnic table underneath the pavilion near where Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police on Nov. 22 at the Cudell Recreation Center. Demonstrators are still gathering here on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014, for on-going protests against the shooting of the 12-year-old who was holding an airsoft gun. (Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

The man planning a counter-protest to Saturday’s Tamir Rice rally at Cleveland’s Impett Park said he wants a peaceful event, despite violent imagery and rhetoric found on the counter-protest’s Facebook page. 

The “Protect Our City” Facebook event page, created by West Park resident and father Tommy Gunn Snider, has nearly 500 people committed to the 10 a.m. counter-protest. It features an image of Spartans from the movie “300.” The event tagline: “Our street, our problem.”

Snider’s protest is a reaction to the #Occupy4Tamir event organized by the Ohio Student Association. Saturday marks six months since Tamir died from police gunfire.

“I can’t stress enough that I don’t want anything bad to happen,” Snider told Northeast Ohio Media Group Friday.

Snider has come under criticism for the imagery and language used on the event’s Facebook page. The page’s original banner also used an image from “300,” but was accompanied by the tagline “Come peacefully, or leave in pieces.”

Snider addressed the message.

“It should seem aggressive,” Snider said. “I don’t want people to come to my neighborhood and tear it to pieces. They’re very welcome to have the protest. I don’t want them to act crazy.”

Activist Don Bryant, who is organizing #Occupy4Tamir with the Ohio Student Association, said his group has no intention of being destructive.

“We absolutely want peace,” Bryant said, adding that the group’s leaders will meet Friday evening to ensure the group does not trespass or inadvertently damage property during their protest.

About 100 people are expected to march from Impett Park to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty’s West Park home, and then back to the park, Bryant said. The group will hold signs, yell chants and demand a conclusion to the investigation in the Tamir Rice case.

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Source: Northeast Ohio Media Group | Brandon Blackwell

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