Group Cancels Interstate Protest, Blames Police for Not Helping Block Traffic
Rochester, NY – The Save Rochester/Black Lives Matter (BLM) group planning to shut down “multiple checkpoints” along Interstate 490 on Friday at rush hour was forced to cancel the demonstration after police refused to help.
The BLM group organized a demonstration on Sunday, July 19 to shut down a stretch of I-490 in protest to the local Rochester Police Department (RPD).
The RPD assisted the group in safely blocking traffic from the protesters’ route from MLK Park to I-490 on Sunday afternoon.
New York State Police (NYSP) was there once the demonstrators made their way to I-490 to ensure traffic was blocked in both directions.
Shortly following the demonstration, the group announced plans via its Facebook page to do it again.
In a message seeming to taunt the motoring public, the group stated, “Enjoy your ride home on FRIDAY July 24th. It just might be 8 min and 46 seconds longer, because that’s how long we are shutting down the freeway — during rush hour at that!”
Further, the group added, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s the new normal. It’s time for a change!”
The shutdown was to begin at 5 p.m. EDT.
However, organizers called it off shortly before it was to get underway.
In a press conference following the cancellation, one of the group’s organizers, Mikey Campbell, lashed out at police for not shutting the interstate down like they did before.
“We’ve been met with a lot of push back from both the RPD and the NYSP,” Campbell said. “It’s saddening and disheartening that these institutions in America cannot support our civil liberties, our right to protest.”
Further, he said the group would be planning another shutdown “very soon” and will not announce it on social media.
When asked about the safety concerns of such an interstate shutdown, Campbell downplayed the risks.
“We are a team of highly organized professionals, so we are very aware of the safety issue and we are considering that quite carefully,” he said.
TransportationNation.com will continue to monitor any new developments.
Photo courtesy of WHAM