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Berkshire NAACP Chapter Head Unafraid Of Outside Instigators

A black man holding a mic with a face mask and an NAACP sign stands in a sun-dappled grassy park surrounded by people
Josh Landes
Dennis Powell, center, speaks at a May 30th anti-police brutality rally in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

The president of the Berkshire County chapter of the NAACP says he doesn’t buy concerns that violent agitators will infiltrate local anti-policy brutality protests.

Dennis Powell has seen the group organize and successfully hold two peaceful rallies in Pittsfield and North Adams. He tells WAMC that despite concerns by state and local law enforcement, he isn’t worried about local demonstrations turning violent.

“I don’t really believe with our population of youth that an outsider is going to be able to come in and galvanize our youth to create the kind of destruction that we see going on in Chicago and L.A. and Atlanta and New York City and so on," said Powell. "I just don’t see that happening.”

The next NAACP-sponsored protest is scheduled for noon in front of Great Barrington town hall Saturday. There is also a Black Lives Matter rally organized by Greylock Together Friday evening in Williamstown.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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