A modest rally in support of Black Lives Matter broke out in downtown Tunkhannock Saturday afternoon to raise awareness in the community as well as funds to support those bearing heavier burdens elsewhere.
Organized by Tunkhannock Area student Anthony Eckert and the Tunkhannock Human Rights Association, about 30 individuals met first on the grounds of the Wyoming County courthouse, with a little bit of a pep talk and somber naming by Andrea Rail of Tunkhannock of many of those who have lost their lives to violence across the nation.
Eckert said the activity took on a special urgency, after a woman in Meshoppen painted the words ‘Black Lives Matter’ over a week ago on a rock cliff near Route 6 on the outskirts of that village.
Within a couple of days, an individual painted over it.
The original graffiti artist, Brooke Corridoni, acknowledged on social media that she painted the words “because I believe that their lives are important and I will do anything I can to show my support.”
She was at the Tunkhannock rally Saturday and acknowledged she first took a pause after a social media post had hateful and violent words directed at her. The Elk Lake grad said she is emboldened by the hopeful signs of her new friends in Tunkhannock and elsewhere.
She also noted she has received 1,000 posts of support for the stand she has made, and knows in her heart it is right.
“It’s lots of positivity for the commotion about negativity,” which she said set her and her neighbors off.
To that end there will be a peaceful rally in Meshoopen on August 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the ball park, and then those present will fan out throughout town to make their voices heard.
“Love is right,” Corridoni said. “It’s very obvious we’re on the right side of history.”
During the opening remarks on the courthouse lawn, Republican county commissioner Tom Henry popped in unannounced and asked to speak.
He said he admires those involved in this rally as well as the two previous ones held earlier this summer.
“The only way you’re going to get your voices heard is to speak up and demand action. Keep doing what you’re doing,” he said.
While those in Tunkhannock raised money to support The Bail Project which helps low income people arrested for petty crimes, the effort in Meshoppen has designs to support a gofundme page to bring Alloyius McIlwaine, a person of color, to town in September to paint a peace project mural.