HELENA — A Black Lives Matter protest over the death of George Floyd is scheduled to take place at the Montana Capitol Building on June 14 in Helena.
MTN News spoke with the Helena Police Department and the public health to discuss preparations and safety guidelines for people planning to attend.
According to the Facebook event posting as of June 11, over 450 people plan to attend the rally and the post indicates that nearly a thousand more were interested in the event.
Helena Police Chief Steve Hagen said in a news release on Wednesday that the event had been permitted by the General Services division.
HPD and partner agencies will have a police presence at the event.
"We have to protect the constitutional rights of everyone that's involved in every incident. So, to include this rally, we will be there to make sure, the best we can, to protect people's safety and constitutional rights," Hagen said.
Lewis & Clark Public Health officials are reminding everyone who plans to attend that we are still in a pandemic and urged them to follow guidelines to help prevent further spreading of the coronavirus.
“We fully support our community's desire and need to be heard on the subject of systemic racism. We're just asking that folks do it safely. That you remember these lessons because COVID-19 remains a significant issue in our community," said the health department's Eric Merchant.
Public Health recommends following certain guidelines for the event:
- Try to maintain a six-feet distance between other participants.
- Since it may be difficult to maintain distance, a face covering is recommended.
- Practice good hygiene like washing hands and avoid touching the face.
- Anyone showing symptoms of the virus to not attend the protest and find an alternative way to participate.
Chief Hagen told MTN News that the police department has been in touch with the event organizer regarding Sunday’s protest.