Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg plans street closures Monday, expects “a large number” of groups to rally at once

Harrisburg placed barricades blocking access through the Capitol area neighborhood during last month’s ReOpen PA demonstration.

Harrisburg plans to roll out the street barricades again tomorrow, in light of more planned protests at the state Capitol.

Late today, the city released a statement saying that it would deploy barricades “at various points” along Forster, 2nd and 3rd streets in the morning.

According to the statement, the city expects “a large number of outside advocacy groups to rally” at the Capitol complex.

Mayor Eric Papenfuse said that several groups “with different agendas” have said that they would  rally, though he declined to be specific over who might rally.

“I encourage Harrisburg residents to stay home and not go downtown tomorrow morning if possible,”  Papenfuse said. “While we are hoping for peaceful demonstrations, there will be an increased police presence to direct traffic and deter potentially volatile situations.”

The city has been the site of numerous protests over the past two months, including two ReOpen PA demonstrations and several protests and marches supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

On May 15, the city blocked access from the Capitol complex to the surrounding residential streets for the second ReOpen PA protest. The city took that action after participants at the first protest on April 20 purposely gridlocked city streets with a loud, hours-long motorcade.

While some demonstrations have spilled into the Midtown and Capitol area neighborhoods, most have not and have been peaceful, including today’s rally.

Continue Reading