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City of Lancaster announces best practices for downtown demonstrations

Protesters are discouraged from blocking public sidewalks or streets or threatening anyone with bodily harm, among other city directives
Credit: Keith Schweigert/FOX43
A group gathers near the Lancaster Bureau of Police station to protest the death of George Floyd on Monday, June 1, 2020. It was the third straight day of protest in Lancaster.

LANCASTER, Pa. — Days after three demonstrators were arrested for blocking traffic during a protest downtown, the City of Lancaster listed a series of Best Practices to Prioritize Safe and Secure Demonstrations on its website.

According to the office of Mayor Danene Sorace, here are the best practices for demonstrations in the city:

  • Individuals and organizations have the lawful right to demonstrate if done in a lawful manner.
  • Remaining orderly ensures an orderly response from law enforcement.
  • Avoid blocking sidewalks, streets or private driveways, or entrances to any private or public place as that creates a problem for fellow citizens, flow of traffic and public safety.
  • Avoid preventing anyone from entering or leaving a place or threatening anyone with bodily harm.
  • Demonstrators may speak to people entering or leaving a place and may pass out leaflets and or pamphlets.
  • Every demonstration or organization demonstrating should have a point of contact, who is easily identifiable, who will act as a liaison between the Lancaster Bureau of Police and the Bureau of Police should have one point of contact for the group to communicate questions or challenges both ways.
  • The party being demonstrated against may sign a criminal complaint if a violation of the law occurs on private property.
  • If something being protested against is an event with a permit, the permit holder may exclude demonstrators from being within the permitted area.  Demonstrators may, however, continue their demonstrations outside of the permitted area provided their demonstrations are conducted in a lawful manner.
  • It is the duty of the police agencies involved to protect the rights of all persons, demonstrators and non-demonstrators alike, at the scene of a demonstration.
  • If demonstrations continue late into the evenings, noise can create problems for fellow citizens. Avoid loud noise past 10 PM in line with the Noise Ordinance.

RELATED: 3 demonstrators arrested for blocking traffic at Lancaster protest