Downtown businesses, police, and even the city post office brace for Sunday's 'March for Justice'
Organizers behind a planned protest in Downtown Batavia on Sunday, June 7th, have distributed posters announcing the "March for Justice" which starts with a gathering in front of Batavia City Hall at 8 a.m.
From that location at 1 Batavia City Centre, the plan is to march PEACEFULLY -- which is in all caps in the black, white and red poster -- starting at 11 a.m. to the City of Batavia Police Headquarters, located a short block away at 10 W. Main St.
Plans for the March here came together after plans for a free BBQ at Williams Park on Pearl Street -- the "BBQ for Equality" -- were nixed by city officials Tuesday. They said that the state would need to OK the event and City Council would need to approve it, too.
Earlier this week City Police Chief Shawn Heubusch expressed concern about outside agitators coming to Batavia to cause trouble if there was a protest Downtown.
Some Downtown business owners say they are apprehensive about the protest because of rioting, looting and brutalities they've seen on media and social media during similar events in cities large and small nationwide. A couple of them even say they plan to board up their storefronts.
The Batavia Post Office, at 2 W. Main St. next door to the police station, isn't taking any chances if things go awry. This afternoon they put up a sign on their front door telling people their lobby will be closed at 5 p.m. on Saturday and won't reopen until 5 a.m. on Monday, June 8.
"We're closing the lobby during those hours out of an abundance of caution," said Karen Mazurkiewicz, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, Western New York. "We apologize for the inconvenience. We just want to be sure the building is kept safe and sound."
The murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis May 25 ignited the latest protests against racial inequality, police brutality, and social injustice in America.