ALERT: BLM Protesters to Shut Down I-490 Until “Demands Are Heard”
Rochester, NY – Another highway protest is planned for this weekend in Rochester as the trend continues to grow.
Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters say they are taking to Interstate I-490 on Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT in a demonstration against local police.
According to an event posted on Facebook, the BLM group says the plan is simple… “SHUT IT DOWN.”
The group says they are using this particular method because “it has really been an impactful way to protest and bring awareness to BLM issues.”
The BLM group has been calling for the release of inmates with “nonviolent misdemeanors,” and is upset because the Rochester Police Department (RPD) has so far “refused to have a simple conversation” about it.
Protesters plant to meet at MLK park and take an “undisclosed route to the highway.”
“Our demands are simple and we want everyone to meet us on 490 after we shut it down,” the post said. “Our goal is to shut down 490 until our demands are heard and once they hear our demands we will keep staging non-violent protests until our goal is met. We won’t stop until more money is spent on Black neighborhoods instead of police weaponry, equipment, and unused vehicles!!!”
Further, the group says its “primary goal is safety” and medics will be on hand with water.
“No Justice, No peace, [email protected]#* these racist ass police!” the post concludes.
Dozens and Dozens of highway protests have been carried out in cities across the U.S. since the death of George Floyd.
So far, two people have been killed during these kinds of demonstrations.
A disaster was averted along I-35 in Minneapolis on May 31 when a semi-tanker driver narrowly avoided a group of more than 5,000 protesters who did not provide warning to authorities before marching onto the bridge.
U.S. Congressional leaders have remained largely silent on the issue and the dangers it poses to truckers, motorists and protesters.
Secretary of the Department of Transportation (USDOT) Elaine Chao has also been quiet on the topic.
Frustration in the trucking community over the proliferation of these kinds of demonstrations is palpable.
As evidence to this fact, earlier this week a Minnesota state lawmaker who holds his commercial driver’s license (CDL) and works as a trucker when not in session, wrote to Sec. Chao and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, asking they take action to prevent interstate shut downs.
“In the last few months, we have seen two of our primary interstates blocked by protesters, Interstate 35 and Interstate 94,” Rep. Cal Bahr wrote. “State and local officials have seemingly acquiesced and allowed protesters to illegally commandeer the interstate highway system at their leisure.”
Rep. Bahr says he is frustrated leaders aren’t doing more to stop it.
“While some arrests have been made the chances of actually being detained are minimal,” he commented. “Allowing situations like this to develop in Minnesota and other states strike at the heart of our interstate commerce system and our rights as citizens to move freely about the country and engage in transactions of all kinds.”
He concluded simply, “This will not end well if this practice is allowed to continue.”
The question many truckers are asking is when will local and national leaders put the safety of truckers, motorists and the protesters ahead of political expediency?
Only time will tell.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for more on this developing story.