The Aberdeen Police Department said they are prepared for what may come after a viral video sent the Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop and an Aberdeen City Council member into national headlines.
A video of a confrontation between store owner Don Sucher and Aberdeen City Council member Tiesa Meskis went viral on Thursday, garnering millions of views across popular online platforms.
The video shows Meskis, who identifies as a transgender woman and sits in the council’s Ward 2 Position 3 seat, and Sucher, a former Vietnam veteran, in a heated debate regarding a sign posted in Sucher’s shop.
“If you are born with a d***, you are not a chick,” the sign read.
The video, which includes Sucher telling Meskis, “You are not a woman. You don’t look like a woman. You don’t act like a woman,” and Meskis bellowing outside the storefront, “Trans women are women!” has been reported on by state and national news organizations, including the New York Post.
According to a KING5 report, Meskis said “her supporters plan on demonstrating in front of the store Saturday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m.”
The report also states Sucher said he will look for his supporters to show support as well at the time of the planned protest.
But at approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, an online post from the Chehalis River Mutual Aid Network — an online group calling itself a “grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action” — stated the planned protest has been canceled.
“Spread the word. There is NO PROTEST. There is no alternative safe place, things have escalated past that point. All plans have been canceled,” read a post on the group’s Facebook page.
“You are advised to AVOID THE AREA around the Star Wars Shop this Saturday if possible. We must protest this, but another day,” a post on the group’s Twitter feed read.
Aberdeen Police Commander Dale Green stated that the department is prepared for whatever protests may occur on Saturday.
“We will have additional resources coming in and some of our neighboring agencies will be assisting as well,” Green said Friday afternoon.
Currently, there are no plans to block traffic on Wishkah Street in front of the store, an area that sees heavy traffic on the weekends.
Green added law enforcement will be on hand to make sure protests remain civil and peaceful and that protesters do not block traffic.
“We’re just going to be out and making sure people have their constitutional right to gather and make sure they are spoken and heard,” he said. “We just want people to be safe and respect each other’s rights and stay out of the roadways. We don’t want anybody to get struck by vehicles. As we know, it’s going to be a Saturday, which is typically a very heavy beach traffic day, so we want to make sure people are safely motoring about.”
Green stated that law enforcement is willing to declare the protests riotous and disperse the crowd if necessary, but said “we certainly hope that does not occur.”