U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- At about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, 6 August, at the intersection of Meridian Street and I-65, a group of agitators associated with Black Lives Matters were illegally blocking Meridian Street. A blue GM Sierra pick-up approaches. There is plenty of room for the agitators to be off of the street. There are not many of them, somewhat less than a hundred by estimation.
Instead of getting out of the lane to allow people to freely travel on the public right of way, they are spread out to block the street.
Two agitators deliberately block the blue Sierra, pulling guns to reinforce their blockage. In the video, it is clear there is plenty of room for the truck to pass, if the agitators move a few feet to one side.
Obstruction of Traffic in Indiana is a crime.
Sec. 13 . (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a person who, with the intent to obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic, obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic commits obstruction of traffic, a Class B misdemeanor.
When the truck attempts to avoid the illegal blockage, the agitators run to get in front of the truck, to block it. It is almost as if they want the truck to hit someone.
The traffic blockers attempt to justify their blockage with the claim the truck attempted to hit them.
No evidence of such an attempt is seen in the video. The truck driver appears to take significant action to avoid hitting the agitators.
One agitator, self-identified only as “Icon” says he pulled his gun and jumped in front of the truck to protect a young girl. No such girl can be seen in front of the truck, although a girl appears later in the video, behind the truck. From Indianapolis Recorder
While members of the group tried to redirect traffic, a driver in a blue truck revved the engine, sending protesters scrambling to the sidewalk. One protester, who only identified himself as “Icon,” pulled a gun on the driver.
“I was scared he was going to kill me,” he said. “I stepped in front of a little girl when he revved his engine, but, yes, I absolutely drew a gun to defend myself.”
The Recorder does not mention the other agitator with his gun, or the fact the agitators were illegally blocking the street.
Several protestors who have blocked public right of ways have been struck by vehicles across the nation. This is not hard to understand. When hundreds of people deliberately block traffic by standing and walking in the street, often assaulting drivers and vehicles who are legally going about their business, some people are going to be hit.
Some protests in the streets are legal. In those cases, drivers are at a high level of risk from both protestors and the law.
Run in front of a moving vehicle, or stand in a dark highway in dark clothing, at night, or aggressively surround a stopped vehicle and repeatedly strike it; you stand a good chance of being hit by a surprised and/or frightened driver.
It seems the protests are designed, in part, to elicit a response where drivers will over-react, allowing them to be criminally charged.
It is almost as if a common format is taught to the agitators. Block legal rights of way. Get in front of vehicles. Stop them. Pound on them. Consider them evil. In many cases, these actions are illegal but are condoned by far-left prosecutors or city governments, such as happened in Austin, Texas.
Drivers should maintain their cool and refuse to be intimidated. Avoid the situation if possible. If you can, back up and leave the area, as the driver in the blue Sierra did.
If a vehicle is blocked to prevent its movement, and the driver believes themselves to be threatened, jurors may believe the driver acted prudently when they use the power of the vehicle to leave the situation. If the driver drove past legal barricades, they have a serious risk of being convicted of criminal acts, especially by sympathetic leftist prosecutors.
Blocking a public right of way without the proper authorization is not a peaceful protest. It is a criminal act.
Attorney General Barr has said agitators are using the protests to commit low-level urban warfare against the United States. Interview with AG Barr:
“Its a new form of urban guerilla warfare.”
“The way the guerrilla…hides out among the people as a fish in the ocean…what they do is they are essentially shielding themselves or shrouding themselves in First Amendment activity,” he explained. “They go into the demonstrations, which are exercising First Amendment activity, and they insinuate themselves in there to shield themselves. That’s where they swim. And what they do is they hijack these demonstrations and they and they provoke violence.”
BLM is extremely well funded. They can afford to obtain the best secure communications equipment. At last count, they have raised over 133 million dollars since 2016. How the money is spent is not clear. Agitators arrested at protests have their legal fees paid by outside organizations.
Antifa is a well funded and organized international organization dedicated to destroying the United States government, to institute international communism. It is not clear how much interaction there is between BLM and Antifa.
In Indianapolis on 6 August, the blockage of streets was illegal.
Special event permit requirements, in Indianapolis, require 30 days advance notice for the permit, and two weeks notice to neighbors. They have to use state-approved barricades:
- If you are closing a street, you must use state-approved barricades. If in the downtown area, an Indiana Law Enforcement Certified Officer must man the barricades.
- Submit the Street Closure Request Form to reserve state-approved barricades to block off the street. Barricades will not be delivered. Please return the barricades in a timely manner as other events may be waiting for them.
The Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood services issues permits for special events in Indianapolis. Brandi Pahl, Chief Communications Officer, responded to an email, and stated the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services did not issue a permit for the August 6 protest march.
According to the indystar, BLM claims people who hit agitators who are blocking streets are “white racists”.
“It’s always a double standard,” the group said. “White racist are killing and hitting protesters and then get mad when (we) defend ourselves.”
The radical left has defined anyone who refuses to bow down to their demands as racists. In the case where a protestor was killed in an incident near Seattle, it was at night, the protestors had permission to block the freeway, but there were no barricades to warn the driver, who, it appears from the video, attempted to avoid hitting the protestors. The driver took an off ramp onto the freeway. The driver is a black immigrant.
The people orchestrating these protests seem to be looking to create incidents where the people blocking traffic can claim victim status.
If the protests are legal, the protestors have legal rights to be in the streets. That does happen on occasion. Be aware of barricades that have been erected to direct traffic elsewhere.
The ability to travel freely, in reasonable safety, is a signal mark of civilization. The blocking of public right of ways without legal consequence is evidence of a breakdown of the civil order, of anarchy and mob rule.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.