A group that says it is tired of the violence and destruction that befalls Myrtle Beach, S.C. each year when Atlantic Beach Bike Fest rolls into town is advancing a petition and a Facebook campaign to end the annual event.
The campaign is in response to a string of weekend shootings that left three dead.
“Each year our town is trashed, violent crimes are committed, and it’s only getting worse. It’s time for us to speak up and demand CHANGE from Myrtle Beach,” reads the Facebook page of the group, Myrtle Beach Against Bikefest.
The group’s page was started on Sunday and already has over 14,000 Facebook ‘likes’. A Change.org petition tied to the campaign has nearly 5,000 signatures.
“Over the past several years, Atlantic Beach South Carolina has hosted “Atlantic Beach Bikefest” or better known as ‘Black Bike Week,'” reads the group’s Change.org petition.
Atlantic Bike Week marked its 34th anniversary this year, and attracts over 400,000 bike enthusiasts, mostly black, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
“Crime has increasingly grown, with murders, shootings, armed robberies, theft, and a plethora of other violent crimes. Residents of Myrtle Beach live in fear and are prisoners in their own homes,” continues the petition, which states that the issue has “NOTHING to do with race.”
The group announced a town hall meeting to be held Tuesday to address the annual festival.
The Facebook page started on Sunday with a link to a report of the death of three people. The gun fight followed an argument that started in the street.
The seaside town had only two homicides in all of 2013.