It was a trip Kenosha residents hoped would pass without incident. That didn’t stop protesters Saturday from walking or wading into the harbor of the casino opening there.
The protest route was traced by social media but also protests Sunday and Monday from Black Lives Matter and other supporters.
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The plan was to protest with songs and chants at the riverfront casino opening, the Fox Valley Audio & Video news service reported. But about 30 to 50 protesters showed up Saturday with signs.
The group chanted, “Down with gambling! Bigots in power! No casino on American soil!” The protesters also walked along the downtown Kenosha Riverwalk.
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Police Chief Dennis Leach initially said residents were required to keep at least 300 feet apart from the protesters, WITI reported. Police officers stood in the area but didn’t intervene.
“We’re not saying they won’t do some damage,” Leach said. “We’re telling them, if you act the way you’re acting, we’re going to take action.”
Kenosha County Sheriff Gary Potts said he thought the march “was for real,” according to the Fox Valley Audio & Video.
The Stockton Gazette reported from Kansas City, Missouri, that protests ended there after a few dozen people attended a meeting with Clark County Commissioner Mike Pollitt, who serves as co-chair of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s Commission on Combating Crime, Restoring Public Safety and Promoting Economic Development.
A group then went to the Rittenhouse Casino in Kenosha, where they “disrupted patrons in a destructive way, damaging property and refusing to remain at the property.”
After asking protestors to leave, police arrested at least seven people. A protester was taken into custody by officers after being identified by casino patrons.
The Plaza Report, a Quad City, Iowa, news website, reported it also observed the protesters at the Rittenhouse, but the office of Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Nieskes didn’t return a call seeking comment.
Rittenhouse said it cooperated with police and that the casino “didn’t tolerate violence” but called the protest “completely unnecessary.”