Black Lives Matter took to the streets in Rochester, NY Tuesday morning saying they were ‘shutting s&i! down.”
After first shutting down the RTS bus terminal, more than 200 people shouted “Black Lives Matter” and “Daniel Prude” and marched toward the Wegmans grocery store on East Ave.
“Not in Service,” the RTS bus terminal posted during the BLM staged rally.
Protesters then headed toward the Wegmans grocery store where management had to frantically lock its doors, trapping an estimated 100 shoppers inside.
Michael Schwartz, a reporter for 13WHM-TX, said the goal of the BLM march was “to disrupt.”
Cars that followed the BLM protesters carried supplies of food and drink, which would later be set up outside the store to aid the protesters in anticipation of a long encampment.
“Last time I saw a tent setup was at Occupy City Hall,” Swartz tweeted. “Shoppers cannot leave.”
“A large contingent of people in cars as well as walkers,” observed education reporter Justin Murphy from the scene.
A police response appeared to be non-engaged.
“The Rochester Police Department is just watching and letting it happened,” said Rochester journalist and radio host Bob Lonsberry.
Local news outlet WHAM reported, “Police have been keeping their distance and closed surrounding streets.”
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One BLM protester wrote graffiti over a sign outside the Wegmans store that read the grocer was “Closed until there is justice.”
Others wrote messages on the store’s parking lot in support of defunding the police.
Wegmans tweeted out: “Our East Ave. store in Rochester, NY is currently closed due to protest activity taking place outside of the store. At this time, no customers remain in the store, and the doors will remain closed.”
It remains unclear why Black Lives Matter targeted the Wegmans food market for occupation, though the grocer does have a policy prohibiting employees from wearing garments that promote the movement.
“As has always been the case per our longstanding uniform policy, Wegmans employees are not permitted to display images, letters or logos as part of their uniform while working,” the company said in a statement. “The uniform policy also states that only Wegmans issued pins are permitted to be worn while at work.”