There will be a demonstration on Sonoma Plaza on Wednesday at 1 p.m., but city officials and local police are working in tandem with organizers, and expect a peaceful and respectful event.
“The City of Sonoma supports the people’s right to free speech and to peacefully assemble,” stated City Manager Cathy Capriola in a statement shared with The Sun at 5 p.m. today.
Capriola said her staff and the Sonoma Police Department are working in coordination with local organizers to ensure our community “can exercise their free speech in a safe and respectful manner. We expect that these gatherings will be peaceful demonstrations based on the proactive, positive and open communication between local organizers and the City’s public safety team.”
Capriola said the Police Department is committed to supporting peaceful protesters. Aware that neighboring communities have experienced unlawful behavior surrounding similar gatherings, Capriola said the local Police Department will be well prepared.
“Chief Rodriguez and his team have smart, community-focused plans to address any escalation,” she said. “All public safety agencies within the County are coordinating and ready to respond and support each other with resources as needed. ”
An alarming sight today in Sonoma was the boarded-up windows at the Safeway store on West Napa Street, and UPDATED: Sonoma’s Best (above).
Caprioloa said the Safeway move was a corporate decision, and not based on any warning or communication with the city.
“We encourage local businesses, residents, and protestors to work together and respect each others’ rights and safety,” she said. “We are a community that cares about and supports each other, even in these challenging times.
The City will continue to provide updates as needed on its website and Facebook page.