At approximately 7:00 PM about seventy Black Lives Matters demonstrators left Congress Park and took to the streets of Saratoga Springs. They marched up Broadway and stopped in front of the Adelphi Hotel where people were having dinner in front of Morrisey’s. For approximately fifteen minutes one of the leaders with a bullhorn berated the diners.
They then proceeded up Broadway toward City Hall. There were many, many Saratoga Springs Police and Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department cars lining the east side of Broadway and the southbound lane of Broadway was blocked off at Broadway and Lake Avenue.
The demonstrators turned right on Lake Avenue and marched down to Henry Street where they turned right. They marched up Henry Street to Spring Street and turned right. From there they turned on to Putnam. They gathered in the parking lot half way up the hill. Some speeches were given, and they then marched up the hill to Broadway and then turned left. At Spring Street they turned again and marched down to Putnam where they took a left. At Caroline Street they took a left. They gathered at the intersection of Caroline Street and Broadway. Some stragglers blocked two police cars driving up Caroline Street. A mounted policeman used his horse to force them away from the front of the lead vehicle.
The police cars proceeded up the hill and stopped at the entrance to Broadway. The lead car, using a speaker system, began reading an order giving them five minutes to free the intersection. At this point the demonstrators had been marching for about an hour and twenty minutes. I could not hear all that was being said because several demonstrators, among them Lexis Figuereo, used their megaphones to generate a loud siren sound to interfere with the order.
A demonstrator got in front of the lead car and challenged them. He told them that this was not a nineteen fifties event and that if they attacked the group he and others would take care of them.
Approximately thirty people stayed in the intersection.
At this point a phalanx of sheriffs appeared at the intersection of Broadway and Lake Avenue with shields. They marched to the intersection behind their shields. As they approached the demonstrators, most of them fled but five ended up being wrestled to the ground and arrested. My understanding is that no one was “hurt.” By that I mean that no one required medical attention.
The group that had fled reorganized at the intersection of Division and Broadway. They continued to taunt the police.
What followed was a series of cat and mouse movements. The sheriffs would move forward and the demonstrators would retreat only to reform and continue their taunts.
The demonstrators ended up on the Broadway sidewalk in front of Congress Park. They would go into the street and taunt the police and as the police would start to approach they would retreat to the sidewalk.
During all of this Lexis Figuereo kept up expletive loaded rants with his bullhorn.
At approximately 9:30PM the demonstrators gathered in the park to finish their march.
The most important thing is that apparently the police and sheriffs were able to avoid hurting anyone.
I will have much more on this in a future post but wanted to get this out this evening.