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Protest takes over downtown Buffalo

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 18:46:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Buffalo Police estimate about 150 cars were bumper to bumper in Niagara Square Monday, protesting Governor Cuomo’s Pause order extension.

“We’re not going to be locked down, jailed in our homes any longer,” said one protester.

Protesters could be heard throughout downtown Buffalo, beeping and voicing their concerns for the state to go back to normal. Many say Buffalo is not New York City.

“There was no justification for the Governor to go from May 1 to May 15 for the entire state,” said Assemblyman David DiPietro, who was protesting. “New York City and the rest of the state are completely different. He’s causing people to ruin their lives for the sake of New York City,” he said.

DiPietro is sponsoring the “Split the State” bill, which would cut New York City off from the rest of the state.

Pete Harding was driving in the protest. He’s most concerned about the mental well-being of people who have lost their jobs because of the shutdown.

“These people are struggling and floundering, they have no answers,” he said. “No one can get through to state programs and unemployment.”

On the flip side, a handful of counter-protesters like Carla Rodriguez who is a front line worker say people just don’t understand what’s going on in the hospitals.

“I see sickness. We’re not as big as New York City, but it could be as bad if we don’t flatten the curve” she said.

The protest broke up after about two hours. There were about 12 Buffalo Police Officers on hand.

“We decided to close the square,” said Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo.

Buffalo Police say there were no arrests made and no tickets given out, and the protest remained peaceful.