Saturday, August 8, 2020

PROTEST MARCH HELD ON MARCO


Suspense built on Wednesday when a notice of a protest march was found circulating through social media. This time it would be pinpointing Marco Island as the location for the next march for justice concerning the George Floyd incident.

The initial call for marchers identified the Mission Plaza on the south end of the island as a rallying point.  However, as that word circulated throughout the island management and businesses took steps to limit the parking to just customers of the popular plaza.  This would cause organizers of the march to rethink the logistics.

Originally the group was prepared to march down Collier Boulevard, but upon thinking through their original plans they opted to change their plans to include staging at the Veterans Community Park and walking down Bald Eagle Drive and ending at the Marco City Hall and Police Complex.

While marchers were laying out their arrangements, city officials were working on a strategy to keep those intent on marching safe, as well as those residents who may have been exposed to the march.

The Marco Island Civic Association took the unusual precaution of closing off the Residents Beach facilities at 3:00pm to secure their facilities as the marchers were planning on proceeding down South Collier Boulevard to San Marco Road.

Police Chief Tracy Frazzano would work with City Manager Mike McNees to refine their preparations.  They would utilize assistance from within the Collier County Sheriff’s Office to augment their personnel to assure they had the necessary resources to insure a safe environment for all.

City Manager Mike McNees would make a courtesy call at Veterans Community Park on those intending to participate in the march.  He would explain the community’s intent to provide a safe venue within which the participants could exercise their First Amendment Rights of Free Speech. 

A moderate law enforcement presence was visible as officers could be seen along the route of the protest march, while overhead a Collier County Sheriff’s helicopter surveyed the area from the air. 

After a number of speeches by participants of the march they would leave the parking lot and make the short walk down to the municipal complex on Bald Eagle Drive.  There they would be met by Police Chief Frazzano and a contingent of officers. Those participating in the protest march would make their grievances known for about 30 minutes as a light rain fell on all in attendance.

Only one slight incident occurred which necessitated the taking into custody one of those attendees.     Otherwise those in attendance, although sometime loud and strident as they made their points, would do so in a peaceful subdued manner.

“We appreciate the professionalism shown by our personnel and those that assisted us.  We also appreciated the manner in which those that participate in the march handled themselves,” said Frazzano.

3 responses to “PROTEST MARCH HELD ON MARCO”

  1. Rivka Mascoop says:

    The 25 min. video on Facebook of the demonstrators on Marco Island screaming into the faces of Marco Island police officers with the use of loud megaphones did not appear or sound peaceful what so ever. It seems the goal of the protesters was only to shame and provoke the officers. The demeanor of the demonstrators walking down our residential streets also sparked fear in our residents.
    As expected, our wonderful police chief and other officers behaved in a totally professional manner and did not succumb to the demonstrators’ demeaning provocations.
    Social and racial injustice has no place in humane society. The elimination of racial injustice is long overdue in the U.S. and the world over!
    What occurred in front of Marco Island City Hall on June 3rd seemed only as an attempt to test our officer’s responses rather than to get across the vitally important message regarding the elimination of racial injustice in our country. This article does not seem to depict an accurate picture of all that occurred on June 3rd on our normally peaceful island. It would be interesting to know why this reporter would not want to present a more realistic portrayal of the disheartening demonstration.

  2. Thank you so much for the rational portrayal of what actually happened. Watched throughout the day as hysteria mounted stemming from a false memo allegedly from MIPD. Many expressed legitimate fear based on rumors, but some, regrettably, posted ugly racist rants. Situation exacerbated by someone videotaping and aggressively posturing to protesters as he had done night before in Naples. This is an island full of good people and they should remember protestor knocked a phone out of someone’s hand. Marcoite brought an AR. 15.

  3. Russ Colombo says:

    Seems we on Marco Island enjoy the benefits of having a professional City Manager, professional, (in the main), Police Department and, (in the end), a sincere City Council tending to the business they swore an allegiance to.
    Congress could learn from Marco, methinks!

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