The Coalition of Concerned Citizens, a radical group that includes Black Lives Matter protesters, has set its sights on Elvis territory, with a plan to “Shut Down Graceland” on Monday.
While the target might seem unusual, the timing is not. The annual Elvis Week has been taking place since Wednesday and is slated to continue until Tuesday.
The local TV station Fox 13 reports:
Protest leaders say the mass demonstration is planned for 6:00pm Monday. They said they specifically chose Graceland because it is Elvis week and they know it will raise awareness.
Leaders say they also chose Graceland because “it demonstrates one of Memphis’s most common forms of financial inequality and because the site has ties to … the death of unarmed teen Darrius Stewart.”
“We feel like we still haven’t been answered,” said Frank Gottie, a community leader. “They’re givin’ us the runaround.”
The Coalition of Concerned Citizens in Memphis consists of the Black Lives Matter Memphis Chapter, the Memphis Grass Roots Organization, the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense & Inward Journey, and other groups. Memphis Voices for Palestine announced it will also join the planned Graceland chaos.
The Coalition released the following statement:
The demonstration, set for Monday at 6:00pm, is planned as a peaceful show of solidarity, unifying the people of Memphis against systems that promote poverty, violence, and economic disparity. Graceland was chosen as a protest site because it demonstrates one of Memphis’ most common forms of financial inequity and because the site has ties to a prominent case of police brutality that resulted in the death of unarmed teen Darrius Stewart.
Graceland recently opened The Guest House, a new 450-room resort-style hotel in the heart of the African-American community of Whitehaven. The project cost more than $120 million to build and received upwards of $78 million in public funding and tax breaks. Project developers and city officials promised Whitehaven residents the project would be an economic boon to the community, but as has been case for decades, residents have seen little if any of that money “trickle down” into the middle-class neighborhood’s economy. This is not an uncommon story.
According to Graceland.com, events being held during Elvis Week include:
The annual Candlelight Vigil, The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, The Auction at Graceland, Elvis Fan Reunion, Conversations on Elvis, The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Concert event, and much more. Special guests include Elvis’ co-stars, Francine York and Celeste Yarnall, TCB Band Member Glen Hardin, Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick, and many more.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.