HORICON – Recent national events spurred one local girl into action as the organizer of a protest Monday.
Zheta Rohloff, a freshman at Horicon High School, used the social media platforms of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook to urge others to join her in support of Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ by marching from Discher Park to Highway 33.
Rohloff said the shooting death of Breonna Taylor and the violent storming of the US Capitol should not be ignored just because those events didn’t happen in Wisconsin.
“I don’t have a problem with the Horicon police whatsoever, but the fact that the system is so incredibly messed up is really, really sad and it’s been going on for too long,” she said.
Rohloff planned a peaceful protest and said masks would be required to participate due to the ongoing pandemic. She came prepared with hand-written signs, one which read, “Just because this doesn’t affect you, doesn’t mean you should sit on your couch and not care! I would assume you have the heart to care about innocent lives being taken by police!”
Her sister Trinity joined her in the protest, but no one else showed up. Disappointment set in.
“It’s cold out and getting dark; we’ll try again,” she said.
Paul Rohloff, the girls’ dad, and Horicon Police Lt. Amy Yahnke were on hand to assist, if needed.
Negative comments about the planned protest could be seen on some social media sites before administrators removed them. But Horicon Police Chief Joe Adamson said he had no problem with the protest.
“What I really value is the fact that there is a young person in our community that is passionate about something,” he said. “She did the right thing and reached out to the city and said ‘How can I do this correctly?’ Then she coordinated with the mayor and me and had a safe event that we were able to support.”
Rohloff was not deterred by the turn-out and is planning another protest on Sunday, starting at 1 p.m. from Discher Park.
“People say all lives matter but you can’t say that and then exclude people,” she said.
Follow Kelly Simon on Twitter @KSchmidSimon or contact her at 920-356-6757.