Are some locations too sacred for public protest? The president of the Newport NAACP thinks so.
Joyce Williams, president of the Newport chapter of the NAACP, says she wants to stop the at , a state-owned memorial to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, also known as the Black Regiment.
"Would you want this group pitching tents in a cemetery? I think it would be very disrespectful," said Williams. "We have to look into what could be done to have them not pitch tents."
The memorial at Patriots Park pays tribute to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, which was predominately black and Native American, according to The Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. The Black Regiment faced combat for the first time in the Battle of Rhode Island on Aug. 29, 1778.
"It's a memorial to the African Americans and Indians who fought in the Battle of Rhode Island," Williams said. "It's a memorial. We feel that it should not be desecrated."
Williams, along with a friend, attended the in the hopes of speaking with Occupy Portsmouth, a group who has not come forward or identified themselves to date.
"I wanted to see if they would show up and what they intended to do at the park," she said. "I wanted to see if it's a one-time thing or if they plan to put up tents."
The Occupy Portsmouth group previously announced plans to hold a General Assembly at on Tuesday, April 3, at 5:30 p.m. However, the group said they would protest at Monday's Town Council meeting, but never showed.
Despite not showing, the group was the hot topic of conversation before and after the meeting. Many questioned reports of affecting members.
Occupy Portsmouth's next protest was supposed to be at Tuesday's School Committee meeting. However, as of 7:14 p.m. Tuesday, there was no sign of the group.
The NAACP chapter president said she plans to attend the meeting and hopes to speak with them.
Occupy Portsmouth has never contacted her or anyone from the NAACP Newport chapter, Williams said.
We want to know what you think about this. Should Occupy Portsmouth or any other group be allowed to protest at Patriots Park?