FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2020
Gov. Wolf Addresses Protests, Provides Update on Commonwealth Response
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today provided an update on the steps the commonwealth is taking in response to violence and looting following peaceful protests across Pennsylvania over the weekend to condemn racism, oppression and injustice.
“Every Pennsylvanian should speak out against violence and oppression, and the recent murder of George Floyd in Minnesota has rightfully outraged many of us. Pennsylvanians are joining together to speak out against this injustice, and make their voices heard, peacefully,” Governor Wolf said. “But yesterday was a challenging day for many cities in our commonwealth as these peaceful protests were co-opted by violence and looting. This is unacceptable."
On Saturday, the governor signed a disaster emergency declaration using his authority to provide all necessary assistance to municipalities as they respond to the escalation of protests in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
The governor also announced the expanded activation of the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). That activation, combined with the declaration, authorizes PEMA to direct emergency operations in Allegheny, Dauphin and Philadelphia counties, allocating all resources and personnel as deemed necessary to cope with the situation.
“I will continue to work with Mayors Kenney, Peduto, Papenfuse, and others to make sure that everyone is able to make their voices heard, while keeping each other safe, and I want to thank of all our first responders,” Governor Wolf said. “I urge everyone to be peaceful. I urge everyone to have respect for our communities and our neighbors. I urge all of us to continue to call out injustice. I don't want to lose sight of why we are here.
"I want to again send my condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, and everyone impacted by oppression, racism, and violence,” Wolf said. “Every day, in every corner of our society, we need to work at eliminating racism. That means we need to do our part to address racism – from the smallest thought to the biggest action – here in Pennsylvania, too.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndsay Kensinger, RA-GVGOVPRESS@pa.gov