Group shuts down Beltline to protest George Floyd's death and others

Group shuts down Beltline to protest George Floyd's death and others

From the Pain and protest: Madison responds to the police killing of George Floyd series
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Activists on Tuesday again shut down a major thoroughfare in Madison to call attention to what they allege is an epidemic of violence by police against black people, this time shutting down the Beltline in both directions between Stoughton Road and John Nolen Drive.

Local social-justice group Freedom Inc. and its supporters met at the Dane County Jail Downtown just after 1 p.m. and then made their way to the Beltline, where traffic was blocked beginning around 2 p.m.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said police don't have any idea how long it will last.

"What they're planning on doing, they don't tell us," he said.

The group did not obtain a permit to march on the Beltline, which is a state highway, and DeSpain said that for the moment, police are monitoring the situation rather than trying to break up the protest.

On Monday, marchers with Freedom Inc., Urban Triage and the Party for Socialism Liberation, shut down John Nolen through the evening rush hour.

The caravan and march from the Dane County Jail, held to honor those who died at the hands of police, again ended up on John Nolen Drive on Tuesday afternoon, blocking it entirely for a short time while the group shouted slogans, before letting traffic through again, starting with the caravan of vehicles.

While many of the vehicles carried the Black Lives Matter message, others carried messages asking to defund police departments, and some memorialized George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Tony Robinson. 

With temperatures in the upper 80s, several people handed out water to marchers, and two men handed out oranges. Police stayed back but blocked some streets to give the caravan and marchers a clear berth. 

Photos: Protest caravan moves through Madison, shuts down John Nolen Drive

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