‘Citizens to Reopen Carolina Beach’ plans march for Friday

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A group called ‘Citizens to Reopen Carolina Beach’ plans march through town on Friday (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach is creeping up on one month of closed beaches in response to the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, town leaders said a soft opening could be happening as early as next week.

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But one resident wants more from the town’s leaders.

“We expect our local leaders to stand up more for the citizens of Carolina Beach, to push back against the county commissioners,” Bobby McConville said. “Or at least the county commissioner that keeps setting more and more restrictions.”

Bobby McConville is the organizer for citizens to reopen Carolina Beach, a Facebook group that’s planning on demonstrating Friday.

“We plan on peacefully marching down to town hall to protest against the current handling of this coronavirus. The way Carolina Beach is handling it,” McConville said.

The march is scheduled for 11AM Friday, April 17. The group will meet at the lake.

He says he’s reached out to Mayor LeAnn Pierce and the police chief to find out the best way to do this, but says he’s gotten no answers.

He says he plans to follow social distancing guidelines. Groups of 9 marching at least 6 feet apart.

He also trusts the marchers to be responsible.

“We don’t expect anybody that might be elderly that could be compromised or anybody that is compromised to be out and about,” McConville said.

He sums up his intentions.

“Maybe you can’t open Raleigh, but you can open Wilmington. Maybe you can’t open Wilmington, but you can open the beaches,” McConville said. “It’s just time to start moving forward and that’s our protest.”

Councilman Lynn Barbee says to his knowledge the council has not heard from this group, only heard about them. So he is not clear on what they are asking.

He encourages civic involvement as long as they are following the current guidelines for gatherings.

Barbee says the council always welcomes feedback from citizens, but their guiding light right now is the safety and security of those citizens.

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