By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
Partially a response to Klan flyers in WOC, Berlin, Ocean Pines
(June 25, 2020) In response to the reported distribution of KKK literature throughout Worcester County, a Black Lives Matter March through Berlin is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, beginning at Stephen Decatur Park on Tripoli Street.
Rosie Bean said the plan had been to move onto the next phase of community building, but then the KKK literature was distributed.
“We decided to take action right now and do something,” she said.
Bean, who organized the Ocean City Boardwalk march on June 6 and participated in the Pocomoke and Princess Anne marches as well, planned the Berlin march with other activists such as Denise Meade-Cervantes, Dr. Roxie Dennis-Acholonu and Adrian Bowen.
Other participants are Brianna Bowen, Laurie Brittingham, Ronshell Shockley, Jeron Whaley and Pocomoke City District 4 Representative Tod Nock.
The Berlin march is hosted by the African American Coalition of Worcester County.
After the Ocean City march, the coalition was formed to lead local Black Lives Matter events in the county and to encourage residents to be more involved in politics and community activism.
“We hope to be a Black Lives Matter chapter in the future,” Bean said.
Bean also has her own organization called FLIP — for feminists, liberals, independents and progressives — which is the main co-sponsor of the Berlin march, she said.
“We want to educate our community,” Bean said. “We want to bring the African-American community together and the mixed races together for education and move on to the next step … also to get young people involved and active in politics.”
Bean added that the organizers hope the march will make a statement of solidarity against hate in the area.
“We’re not going to stay silent,” Bean said. “We’re going to be proactive, and we’re going to get our message out there to the masses.”
The intent is to make the march a family-friendly event.
According to reactions on Facebook, about 200 people are interested in the march.
Participants are asked to meet at the pavilion at Stephen Decatur Park by 12:45 p.m.
The march organizers met with Town Administrator Jeff Fleetwood and Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing earlier this week to reserve the park and determine the march route.
From the park, marchers will go up Bay Street to Main Street. Participants will stop at the World War II memorial and turn around to return to the park to hear from speakers, including Bean, Nock, Meade-Cervantes and Dennis-Acholonu.
“We’re going to have an open forum, so whoever wants to come up and speak also and maybe the mayor and the chief of police will speak the day of the march,” Bean said.
All participants are required to wear face masks to comply with social distancing.
For more information, email email@example.com or visit facebook.com/events/3233732523355548/.