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Small group holds peaceful demonstration in Lehighton

Protests taking place throughout the nation and world have hit close to home, with a peaceful demonstration taking place Lehighton in the parking lot at Sapore’s Restaurant in Lehighton on Monday evening.

Led by organizer James Gaudio of Lehighton, approximately 10 people stood in unity with a single fist raised while chanting phrases and holding signs to traffic passing where Routes 209 and 443 intersect. Signs read “End police brutality,” “Don’t be silent” and “Black lives matter.”

“This is day 1 of nonviolent protests that I’ll be here for all week,” Gaudio said. “We’ve actually gotten permission from Sapore’s Restaurant to stand here in their lot to carry out a peaceful protest.”

Monty Thompson, a friend of Gaudio, was a former employee who knew many of the staff.

“People have come and gone since I’ve been here in the last hour, some from out of town as far as Easton. People that have shown up here saw what I was doing as they were driving by and joined me,” Gaudio said.

“I was just coming back from a protest in East Stroudsburg and decided to stop and join in. I already had a sign made in my trunk,” Jill Newhartz of Tamaqua said.

Some passers-by honked, while others drove by as usual.

At the stoplight some yelled for the protestors to “go home” and one woman angrily shouted from her car “All lives matter - not just black lives!”

“I’m here protesting peacefully for solidarity,” said supporter Stan Graham.

Monty Thompson, left, and James Gaudio of Lehighton stand along Route 443 in Lehighton Monday night as part of a small protest against police brutality. About 10 people attended at different times throughout the evening. ANDREA SICORA/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS