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Protesters clear up negative rumors of Covington's peaceful demonstration

Danville’s community activist and the demonstration's organizer say the protest this Sunday will be peaceful and is meant to start a conversation. (WCCU)

A demonstration in Covington, Indiana this weekend aims to raise awareness about racial tensions across the country but after Danville community activist Mary Roberson decided to join she said she’s been receiving hate messages online.

“It troubles me,” Roberson said.

The peaceful demonstration started two Sundays ago with Trent Dunham from Covington who said he wanted to do something in the community in wake of the recent events in Charlottesville. Roberson decided she wanted to join him this Sunday, but she said because of it, someone has been spreading negative rumors about her online.

“There are well-meaning people who don't realize exactly how big of a problem racism is and it doesn't have to be KKK, Nazi flags racism it could be the macroaggressions that exist,” Roberson said.

It’s the conversation she wants everyone to have.

Dunham started the conversation in his community, by holding signs that read "Black Lives Matter" as a demonstration, and others later joined him.

“I mean I’ve protested in other things before too so I just wanted to go show solidarity with him so he'd know he wasn't alone,” Roberson said.

After sharing her support on Facebook Roberson said an unknown person on the social media site named “Alan Garner” started spreading false information about her intentions. Some of the messages read, "I know who is in Mary’s squad…you will not like it when she comes to town with her black lives matter group...it ain't gonna be pretty.” Roberson and Dunham said they were all lies.

“And then [Garner] even posted pictures of me in my Black Lives Matter t-shirt,” Roberson said. “It worries me because I don't want people thinking and be on high alert when we come that we're going to try to destroy or burn things down in their town. We want it to be a welcoming experience that they can come and talk and ask us questions.”

Dunham said he too received negative messages for his actions. He said he spoke with city officials so they're aware of the demonstration.

“Just spreading some love and hoping to engage people in some civil conversation,” Dunham said. “Just to inform people about like what's really happening in this world and the fact that people are still treated unequally.”

The demonstration will start at around 1 p.m. and will be at the county's courthouse where everyone is welcomed.

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