Protests have been occurring in Atlanta daily since May 29, and demonstrations were held in Lawrenceville four nights in a row, Saturday through Tuesday. The Atlanta protests have involved dozens of arrests and police deployment of tear gas, but demonstrations in Gwinnett County have been largely without incident.
The Lilburn and Duluth protests are both planned for early Friday afternoon. In Duluth, a group called #ThisAffectsYou2 is organizing a protest on the Duluth Town Green beginning at 2:30 p.m. Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris, Penny Poole of the Gwinnett NAACP and state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero are expected to speak. The group will meet on the Town Green and march to the intersection of W. Lawrenceville Street and Buford Highway, where they plan to protest on the street corners, according to an Instagram post. Organizers have said in social media postings that they will not allow fireworks or any violence, including looting or destroying public property.
In Lilburn, protesters plan to meet at Lilburn City Park at 2 p.m. to set up and make posters, and begin demonstrating at 3 p.m. The group plans to march from the park to Lilburn City Hall and disperse by 5 p.m., according to a post circulating on Instagram and Twitter. The demonstration will include a 9-minute moment of silence to honor Floyd.
State health officials worry these large gatherings will hinder their efforts to contain COVID-19.