In the aftermath of last night’s destruction, business owners are picking up the pieces alongside a few of last night’s protesters.
We headed over to State Street and spoke with the business owners who were impacted by the destruction from last night.
City of Erie Public Works Department was out today helping clean up the mess from the protest last night that eventually turned into a riot.
This morning we spoke to a man who was protesting before things took a turn for the worse. This man was a protester who said that last night went beyond what was intended to be.
“As soon as we started seeing windows getting busted out and tear gas, we left and went home. That is not why we came out here for the protest,” said Nick Marshall, Protester.
Sunday morning, Nick Marshall and his friends showed up to help clean up the mess left in the wake of the riot from Saturday night.
Marshall said that he attended the protest to stand against the injustices in society.
“We wanted to be heard. We wanted our voices to get across. In the end we were hoping maybe the city would be a little different and turn out more peaceful,” said Marshall.
Marshall said that at some point there was a change in the crowd and that things went from peaceful to violent upturning the 400 block of State Street while destroying multiple store-front windows.
“There are a few bad acts out there who were doing bad things last night, but it shouldn’t be a representation of the entire community,” said John Persinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Erie Downtown Development Community.
Next door at 419 Artifacts, several windows were busted out and the furniture was taken and then thrown through the cashiers house next door.
“It’s very disheartening. It’s sad. It’s a very sad state of affairs,” said Mary Gambel, Owner of 419 Artifacts.
Down the road over at Ember and Forge, a brick was thrown through the window. The front door was smashed and an accelerant was used to start a fire.
Owner of Ember and Forge Hannah Kirby said that she holds no ill-will towards the rioters.
“This is something that has been building in our society for a long time and I think we’re here to be a part of the solution and so whatever that looks like, that’s what out business is for,” said Hanna Kirby, Owner of Ember and Forge.
Marshall stated that he is upset that this is what the event turned into in the end.
“I am happy we went out in the first place. I do believe for quite a while we were showing what we wanted to show,” said Marshall.
Ember and Forge will be closed tomorrow to clean up along with most of the shops along State Street.
Ember and Forge will also hopefully be open on Tuesday.