NEW BETHLEHEM – A nonpartisan organization staged a peaceful gathering outside the New Bethlehem post office on Saturday, Sept. 5. Indivisible We Rise, a grassroots group in Clarion County, held the rally to demonstrate support for the United States Postal Service.
“This is not a protest of any kind,” Amy Kumrich, a Cooksburg resident and IWR spokesperson, said. “We just got together and wanted to show support for local offices in our area. They do so much for everyone, no matter what their political party.”
A nationwide movement to support USPS has held similar events in front of postal facilities since late August. The public gatherings have been in response to the actions of newly appointed U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who banned overtime and extra delivery trips.
The ban has resulted in reported drastic slowdowns in mail deliveries. DeJoy had also mentioned the removal of high-speed mail sort machines and the possibility of making the USPS a public company rather than a government agency.
“All these measures slow down the delivery of prescriptions needed by seniors and veterans,” Kumrich said.
Kumrich and others were also protesting DeJoy’s measures during a presidential election year that has been complicated by a global pandemic.
Saturday’s group carried placards supporting postal employees and demanding that DeJoy’s actions be reversed. One of the signs, a large handmade greeting card, was signed by members and passersby, thanking the government workers for all that they do.
Kumrich and approximately 10 members from the Clarion area circulated in the rear delivery area of the post office. Another more visible group of supporters stood in an orderly line at the front of the facility along Broad Street in the borough. All participants were careful to remain out of the way of pedestrians and traffic.
Masked and practicing the recommended six feet of distance because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supporters were greeted by a number of honks from passing vehicles.
“The longest, loudest blast of all came from a brown UPS van,” Kumrich said.