March in Clinton set for Thursday

It is not a demonstration, nor a protest.

It is a march —a peaceful march.

It is, as Clinton Police Chief Vaughn Becker said, “People exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Thursday evening a short march will be held from the City of Clinton Football Field to Hicks Street — where Clinton Middle School now stands and Clinton High School was once destroyed by outside agitators.

Becker and other law enforcement agencies met with organizers of the event Monday afternoon to discuss the proceedings.

While similar events in bigger locations have drawn looters and agitators who have used these kinds of marches as a shield or mask for lawlessness, Becker said Clinton Police Department and all law enforcement agencies involved are determined such activity will not happen in Clinton.

Becker said organizers will meet at the city football field to get organized and then march to the front of Clinton Middle School where a plaque commemorating The Clinton 12 —the first African American students to intergrate a public high school in south.

Becker said the same group held an event in Oak Ridge recently and that it went smoothly.

“I met with the organizer and he has a good plan, has a good group of people,” Becker said.

Becker said the City of Clinton will provide a PA system for the group to use at the city field.

He noted the streets will be closed off and there will be a police presence to ensure safety.

“We will make sure they have the right to say what they want to say,” Becker said.” To make sure their rights are protected.

“It makes me feel good to do that.”