FERGUSON PROTESTORS SHUT DOWN WEST SIDE HIGHWAY

A series of protests shut down various roads and tunnels throughout the city on Tuesday, and protestors eventually made their way to the Upper West Side around 11 p.m. This is the second night in a row with protests in the neighborhood.

Some people were spotted on West End Avenue around 65th street around 11, as seen below in an image sent to us via twitter.
protest6

And a contingent of several hundred people walked right onto the West Side Highway. We got reports of protestors on the highway in the West 70’s, 80’s and 100’s. It appears that the Northbound lanes were shut down, and the Southbound lanes may have been blocked in certain areas.

One person said the protestors were moving “at a decent clip,” followed by the helicopters that have been a constant presence on the UWS over the past week (not all the helicopters have been NYPD-related, but that’s another story we’re looking into).

A skateboarder even took a peaceful ride right down the center of the road!

NEWS | 47 comments | permalink
    1. Paul RL says:

      These “protesters”, or whatever they are, should be arrested for whatever laws they are breaking, and fined for whatever they are costing the city to deal with their disruptions. Shutting down our city for something that happened elsewhere (and of which they lnow nothing about unless they sat on the Grand Jury) is criminal.

      • Joe Rappaport says:

        We can question the tactic, but I think it’s fair to say that protesting something that didn’t happen within the municipal boundaries is legitimate. Or perhaps we should restrict our protests to things here in New York City, such as the recent killing of an unarmed man walking down the stairs in a public housing building by a uniformed NYPD officer. The man was black, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Sadly, this happens much too often in our country and wishing it away won’t make it stop. It will take protest; and it will take wise responses to those protests by the authorities. (In New York City, the NYPD is undoubtedly taking a look at its decision to allow two rookie cops to patrol public housing, and whether it makes sense to walk the stairways with guns drawn. The Housing Authority must make sure to repair lights in stairwells. And those are the simple changes.)

        • Paul RL says:

          Joe, I’m all for someone protesting whatever it is they wish to protest. But the minute they UNLAWFULLY do things like disrupt traffic, create hazards for themselves and others, and take away vital resources that we might otherwise need in this crazy city, they become nothing but non-legitimate jackasses in my book. What could possibly come of forcing a shutdown of the West Side Highway and the Lincoln Tunnel? Are we all supposed to write letters to the Grand Jury and ask them to pretty-please rethink their decision to not indict the officer so we can get traffic moving again?

    2. whatsupduck says:

      I’m with Paul.

      Whatever your opinion is on this issue, preventing emergency service vehicles from reaching their destinations — b/c folks are blocking vital intersections — serves to accomplish nothing.

    3. Scott says:

      Insane behavior but I’ve come to expect nothing less from the Mike Brown fan club.

    4. DMH says:

      Yes, absolutely, and same for every person in a car on West End Avenue every single day. It was reported that a hit-and-run driver struck an elderly man at 77th Street over the weekend. Let’s arrest these “citizens”, or whatever they are, for the laws they are breaking.

      (That was tongue in cheek… but there are perhaps unintentional dog-whistles to racism in many other posts on these protests that make me sad). Whatsupduck, do you know of any examples where emergency vehicles were blocked?

      • whatsupduck says:

        DMH,

        Thank you for asking. Yes. On the scanners on Monday night and Tuesday night, there were reports that ambulances were unable to cross 86th Street or move on Columbus. They had to go around to CPW and around to a side street.

        I’m all for sharing one’s opinions, displaying these opinions in a public fashion, etc. But I’m not for frantic calls on scanners asking, “What the heck do I do? I can’t get around zyx Street.”

        • DMH says:

          Cars do this every day, right (block ambulances in Manhattan)? Can we agree, people on foot can move aside more easily than a bunch of uber SUVs and out-of-state minivans.

    5. Justina says:

      These morons and law-breakers sincerely couldn’t give a hoot about what really happened miles and miles away. They are enjoying the thrill of causing chaos and disrupting life for law-abiding citizens. This is what anarchy looks like, and if they are not curtailed in their anarchist machinations then they are going to ramp up their nonsense. A demonstration is one thing, law-breaking is another.

      • DMH says:

        I didn’t protest, or peacefully assemble, because I’m out of town, but I absolutely do give a hoot. Seriously, if you don’t get why people are upset when cops gun down unarmed civilians again and again in the US (including a man in his home in Brooklyn, less than a week ago), maybe pause and reflect. It doesn’t make them morons, it makes them informed and concerned Americans exercising constitutional rights.

      • n says:

        As someone who knows numerous people who participated in the protest, what you said couldn’t be less true. Whether or not you agree with the protests’ motivation, I know for a fact that many people participating are genuinely concerned about Ferguson and related issues.

        Also, “causing chaos?” Really? They were peacefully walking down a street. They inconvenienced people, sure, but you can’t compare this to the looting and rioting going on elsewhere.

    6. Rodger Lodger says:

      The negative commentary here is disrespectful of a bunch of losers seeking a place in history.

    7. Dave says:

      Until now I thought the UWS was a place of tolerance. I was on a bus on Riverside Drive last night and we were inconvenienced, so what. Most of these posts read like they were sent in from crackers in the south.

      • Paul RL says:

        Since when does tolerance preclude having non lemming-like opinions? Not every Upper West Sider has to be blindly happy about a protest just because it’s a protest. It ain’t 1969 anymore – Sheeeesh!

        • Dave says:

          In your mind 1969 should have been the end of protest. Maybe 1969 was when your heart froze and your mind stopped working. What’s so important about “traffic?” It was a peaceful way to gain attention to a serious issue. Not to you of course who was most likely sitting in your TV chair screaming about traffic being stopped. Get real.

          • Paul RL says:

            Bleccchhh. YOU get real. You can still have a protest and get your point across without screwing up the city, messing up businesses, and creating a hazard for yourself and everyone around you. How you can call that peaceful is beyond me – it’s downright reckless. Perhaps the granola in your beard made its way up to your head and is clogging your senses.

            • Independent says:

              Perhaps the granola in your beard made its way up to your head and is clogging your senses.

              Don’t stoop to his level, Paul.

              It’s beneath you (if the previous post of yours that I commended is any indication) and only serves to weaken your credibility and thereby bolster your opponent(s).

            • Paul RL says:

              Point well taken, Independent.

          • Paul RL says:

            And PS:
            1) I was 6 years old in 1969
            2) I wasn’t sitting in my TV chair (TV chair??) I was sitting in my CAR screaming about the traffic.

      • Independent says:

        “crackers”? What a lovely term. And in a post touting “tolerance”, no less.

        I suppose I can only /hope/ that you are trolling.

    8. J says:

      It’s more than a local issue in case you haven’t been watching the news and kept abreast of social media. Why must you be so nasty and intolerant of people’s views unlike your own? Protesting and civil disobedience is an American right that should be respected even if your views differ. I would hope you would receive the same respect if you choose to air your grievances in a public forum.

      • Rodger Lodger says:

        blocking highway traffic is an American “right”? Here’s my right of free speech: you are stoopid.

      • Jason says:

        Civil disobedience is not a right, it is a crime! Hence “disobey” in the title. People who commit crimes should be arrested, irrespective of their altruistic intentions. Get a permit, and protest lawfully. These criminals who took over the streets should be rounded up and arrested and changed with the crimes they committed. Funny how they claim they are protesting that a crime was committed and not paid for all while committing crimes without recourse themselves.

    9. Aaron says:

      Its incredibly annoying and a major disruption (i was caught in a protest downtown last night, and i am not a fan), but the protests are peaceful and making arrests or bringing in the full force of the police would cause much bigger issues.

      And whether or not Wilson was justified does not take away from the fact that the issue is bigger than the mike brown case.

    10. jackster says:

      There were protests in 150 cities, which to me reflects a common concern about the treatment of people of color and or lower income in our country. During the Civil Rights era folks protested by taking to the streets. Were they also “insane”, “disrespectful” and “losers”? I am a white woman, so I can never know what it’s like to raise a child of color. What I do know, however, is that NO ONE in this country should ever have to fear their child being arrested, shot, killed etc… by law enforcement because of how they look or where they live. I am by no means anti-police; my sister is a police officer and she shares the same concerns.

      For centuries there have been and there are still huge inequities in education, housing, enforcement, pay, opportunity and bias in our country. By and large they are not the fault of the people who are themselves mistreated, and it’s hard to rise above the systems and people that perpetuate them.In that sense, the peaceful protests around our country are not “Ferguson” protests, they are protests for fair treatment for all people in our land, something that our country has always promised. Too many people still don’t have those basic rights guaranteed to them. Change can’t happen without awareness of the problem.

      • 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

        If people want to prevent the type of incident that happened in Ferguson, they can start by not getting high, robbing a store, walking in the middle of a street, assaulting a police officer, and going for the police officer’s gun. That would be a better approach than this mindless protesting.

        • n says:

          I agree that the Ferguson incident isn’t the best example, but it doesn’t matter. Police brutality and racial inequality are real, they’re problems, and they need to be addressed. Protests are a logical first step.

      • Independent says:

        NO ONE in this country should ever have to fear their child being arrested, shot, killed etc… by law enforcement because of how they look or where they live.

        No person in ANY country /should/ ever have to fear being assaulted, robbed, raped or killed by thugs (of ANY race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc.).

        No racial, ethnic, national or religious group /should/ ever have a disproportionately high number (much less a /vastly/ disproportionately high number) of its members who commit the aforementioned violent crimes.

        Even if on nothing else, we can probably agree on both of the sentiments I expressed above.

        The /reality/, however, is obviously very different from either.

        For centuries there have been and there are still huge inequities in education, housing, enforcement, pay, opportunity and bias in our country.

        Much the same could also be said (or at least could have been said up to a certain point in the not-that-distant past) for Irish, Chinese, Japanese and any number of other groups who came to this country as immigrants.

        You can still find more than a few people who recall what it was like.

        By and large they are not the fault of the people who are themselves mistreated, and it’s hard to rise above the systems and people that perpetuate them.

        Let’s assume, for the moment, that the facts in the incidents that you and those who share your view are as you state them and concede your characterizations of civil rights violations and injustices.

        A question that nonetheless seems germane, regarding those who are most vocal about incidents such as the one in the spotlight here involving Michael Brown, is: How much time and energy is expended by them on the staggeringly, disproportionately high number of violent crimes committed by members of their own communities* (and, overwhelmingly, /within/ their own community)? How much outrage is expressed over /these/ injustices and violations of civil rights?

        *(Yes, this reality is terribly unfair, in numerous ways, to the majority who do not commit such crimes. And, of course, harboring ill-will toward– and certainly mistreating– /anyone/ just because of the complexion of their skin or where they happened to have been born is morally reprehensible and just plain foolish. Both points /should/ be needless to state but sadly are not when daring to state any of the facts that I have in this post.)

      • Independent says:

        Additional questions I would like to pose to jackster and those who share the views she expressed:

        Do you not see the distinctly and disproportionately high rates of violent crimes in “communities of color” as at least a significant contributing factor in creating an environment that fosters the type of incidents that you cite (confrontations with police, etc.)?

        Do you think we would see such incidents (at least on anywhere near the same scale) if no significant difference in the rates of violent crime existed between “communities of color” and communities that are not “of color”?

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          actually, what seems so “obvious” to you is not true. disproportionately high crime rates do not exist in middle class African American communities. in poor communities, true, but also not across the board.

          also, i suggest you look at the incarceration rate, which is 6 times higher for African-Americans than for white Americans. is the crime rate six times higher? no, it is because of unequal justice, especially on minor drug arrests.

        • webot says:

          well said, Independent.

          also,”hurrah”

    11. R says:

      I am all for lawful protest. It is an expression of your personal opinion and is part of our rights as American citizen.
      Is skating down the Westside Highway or closing the Lincoln Tunnel a meaningful peaceful protest? Is burning down a 99cent store or a pizza parlor show you are for more equitable civil rights?

    12. Sam says:

      “It’s a sad day for America that people chose to pursue violence when it’s quite evident that not only did the family not want it, it’s not going to get anyone anywhere,” de Blasio told reporters.

      Didn’t Gandhi first say “burn this bitch down, burn this mother$#@ down”?

    13. fjl says:

      People have a right to protest. However, the protests should have a rational relation to the subject. This was a protest against alleged misconduct by the police which should be promulgated by people who don’t want this to happen again. Accordingly, the protests should have been peacefully conducted in the area of governmental offices and police precincts. Closing down roadways is not in furtherance of getting one’s point across. Unfortunately, there will always be a segment of the population which is not law abiding and pounces on any excuse to commit looting and vandalism, as happened in Ferguson, or merely to dance around on highways and inconveniencing law abiding people who are not at fault and wish to get on with their lives. It’s too bad that these looters and lunatics have no regard for the rights of others.

    14. J says:

      I have lived on the Upper West Side for most of my life and have never experienced the level of intolerance expressed here and in readers’ comments in general. I hope such comments are not representative of what the UWS has become. I am hoping it is only a select vocal few who are close-minded, disrespectful and simply rude. I implore you to change the ugly tone that is all too often present in this forum. Disagreement is one thing — rudeness and sheer nastiness is not necessary.

      • Independent says:

        I have to wonder, if you were to miss a critical appointment or event due to such illegal antics, just how “tolerant”, “open-minded” and “respectful” you would be. (If nothing else, what if you were delayed from reaching an emergency room? Or a loved one who was critically ill?)

      • newbie says:

        I’ve lived on the UWS for 11 yrs. I’m one of the newbies taking over. and I am intolerant. I’m intolerant of criminals, phonies, and liberal hypocrites. I’m intolerant of people who make excuses for crime and deteriorating quality of life because “that’s how it used to be”. we are a growing force and you are disappearing. get used to it. Happy Thanksgiving!

        • Mark says:

          If you’re taking over then why do you all feel the need to complain about quality of life issues? What are the commenters afraid of then when it comes to the disappearance of stop and frisk? What qualms do they have with the Mayor then if the neighborhood is totally full of yuppies? Where does the fear come from if you’re so confident that your opinion is the status quo of the modern Upper West Side? What made you all choose the Upper West Side, what could you possibly like about it? What is it that drew you to the neighborhood then if you despise everything that it is?

    15. Bruce Bernstein says:

      civil disobedience has a long protest tradition. it was one of MLK’s most-used tactics. Yes, if you engage in civil disobedience, you are prepared to go to jail for it. As I’m sure these anti-racism protesters are.

      I’m grateful that they are out there making a big fuss about these issues. Racism seems to me to be about as prevalent in society as it was 40 years ago. that can readily be seen from some of the comments posted on WSR.

      Oh, and some people had harsh words for MLK back when he was alive. Very harsh words. “trouble maker”, “law breaker”, “should be in jail”, and worse. “communist”, of course.

    16. zeus says:

      Lock them up.
      A bunch of losers breaking the law in memory of a burglar who attacked a police officer.
      When OJ was found not guilty, there were no marches of whites protesting the verdict, nor any stores broken into and set on fire.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        Zeus said:

        “When OJ was found not guilty, there were no marches of whites protesting the verdict, nor any stores broken into and set on fire.”

        so who is “playing the race card” here? obviously you’re trying to inflame people, including your remarks on Michael Brown (“a burglar who attacked a police officer”). there is a certain group of people on this site who like to go right up to the border of transparent racism — and, imho, often beyond — and then cry in pain when people say they are being racist.

        by the way, it’s worth noting that, from the pics, the demonstrators on the UWS were mostly white. And i haven’t noticed any demonstrators in NYC or anywhere outside of Ferguson breaking into stores and setting them on fire.

        I’m happy to see so many intelligent arguments being made, in general, in the comments. the comment threads on this site are no longer dominated by political throwbacks. Hurrah!

        • webot says:

          Happy that the liberal extremists no longer control the conversation. Hurrah!

        • zeus says:

          Bruce,
          The racists here are the blacks and the whites who refuse to have any trust in the rule of law.
          Unless the officer was found guilty and put away for years, or hanged, no other verdict would satisfy the ones who see only what they want to see or were brain washed to see.

          I am NOT trying to inflame any one. Thank you.
          In a way, you are, by saying that I use the race card.
          Same as when anyone white says Obama may not be the ONE after all, is called a racist.

          Enough with political correctness. It’s killing us, literally.

          And, Brown was a robber who attacked a cop.
          These facts are THE facts.
          Making him a role model is not just wrong, but insulting.