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Rallies scheduled in downtown Ferndale Friday

FERNDALE, Wash. — A Black Lives Matter rally and a Support Ferndale Police rally are planned to be held between 4:30pm and 7pm tomorrow, Friday, July 31st.

The Black Lives Matter rally is being organized by a group of Ferndale High School students according to City of Ferndale Communication Officer Riley Sweeney. They are expected to gather at the high school at 4:30pm, march to Centennial Riverside Park and then line Pioneer Bridge.

The Support Ferndale Police rally organizers did not respond to requests for information but information distributed said they will gather at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Main Street.

Had either group applied for a special event permit, it would have been refused according to Sweeney. “Whatcom County is still in Phase 2 and gatherings of over five people are not allowed.”

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While unpermitted gatherings, city officials remain supportive of the rallies.

Our students have a civic right, and in my opinion, a responsibility to peacefully raise their voices and advocate for what they believe. As do all of our residents, no matter their beliefs or concerns. Wherever you stand, we are a community of neighbors. Ferndale can all agree to a respectful discourse without ugliness, intimidation or threats.

City of Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen (July 27, 2020)

Ferndale Police will be monitoring the rallies and “will take action as necessary to protect the safety of the community and our residents,” Sweeney said in an email. Mask wearing and physical distancing are being strongly urged along with obeying all laws.

There was a rally to support law enforcement on Pioneer Bridge on June 13th. At least 2 Black Lives Matter supporters joined them on the bridge that day.

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A Black Lives Matter supporter holds up a sign on Pioneer Bridge alongside several supporters of law enforcement with their signs (June 13, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

Afterwards, a law enforcement supporter said he was glad they came out and joined the gathering on the bridge. “There’s an awful lot that BLM and law enforcement supporters can agree on,” he told My Ferndale News.

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