CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — “Black Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” and “Back the Blue” were all sayings that were chanted during the two different rallies.
Organizers of the Back the Blue rally say they have been planning this demonstration for months.
James Dinaso has lived in the town for over 30 years. He explains the importance of coming together.
“I think it’s America and you have the right to express yourself peacefully,” says Dinaso.
While the Back the Blue rally was happening, a counter-rally was planned at the same time a block away.
Eric Hunter was marching with the Black Lives Matter Rally. He says he just wants people to be more understanding.
“All lives matter. We know that, but right now there are black people who are suffering, especially people that I actually know. They have suffered because of cops and because of unarmed black people getting killed in the streets,” says Hunter.
Another protestor says not every cop is bad.
“I have family that are cops. My dad is a cop. You just have to take the bad apples out of the tree,” says Eric Webber
Organizers of the Back the Blue rally say they just wanted to show appreciation for law enforcement. They hung American flags in support
“I want to see a prosperous and peaceful town just like everyone wants for their hometown. Nobody wants conflict or confrontation, but we do have the right to express opinions and I do respect that.”