A local citizens group is promising a demonstration during the annual candlelight vigil at Graceland during Elvis Week. The grassroots group Coalition of Concerned Citizens promised the demonstration would happen during the vigil Monday, August 15.
Monday evening, Kevin Kern of Graceland released a statement in response: “As Memphis prepares for the arrival of visitors to celebrate the life and legacy of Elvis Presley, Graceland is actively working with local law enforcement agencies, as it does every year, to ensure the public’s safety and security. We look forward to welcoming the world to our city and showcasing the hospitality that Memphis is known for around the globe.”
In July, more than 100 people marched down Elvis Presley Boulevard in front of Graceland, leading to six arrests for obstructing a highway.
Similar to that protest, organizers say the planned gathering during Elvis Week will highlight economic and education disparities in Whitehaven and other areas of Memphis.
“We plan to go and demonstrate peacefully, nonviolently, but certainly with the intention of drawing attention that there is severe poverty and ignorance in this city based on a poor education system, and that helps breed crime and a host of other issues,” says Al Lewis of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.
The protesters arrested in July are all due in court the day after the planned protest, on August 16th.