Protestors Cleared From Albany Encampment
Albany Police cleared protestors from an encampment outside South Station Thursday afternoon in what became a tense scene. South End streets had been blocked off for several days following a clash between protestors and police April 14 that city officials labeled a riot.Just after 3 p.m., Police Chief Eric Hawkins tweeted it was time for demonstrators to go after six days. A few minutes later, police starting moving through the camp. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard was on the scene.
Police moving protesters off arch street pic.twitter.com/glP4zK2VE9
— Lucas Willard (@Willard_WAMC) April 22, 2021With fencing in place around Albany police stations and protestors camped outside South Station for a sixth day, Mayor Kathy Sheehan would not say Thursday how long the demonstrators will be allowed to remain.
The NYCLU on the clearing of protestors by Albany police today, on the sixth day of an occupation outside South Station: "Members of Albany law enforcement are instigating violence while reportedly concealing their identification badges." pic.twitter.com/BtwTY6I3qH— Ian Pickus (@IanPickus) April 22, 2021
At an unrelated press conference Thursday, Mayor Kathy Sheehan suggested the protestors won’t be allowed to stay forever.
"This is a determination that's happening within the police department and the chief has my complete confidence, and his command staff," the second-term Democrat said. "Clearly we need to make sure that streets are passable to folks. I've been told that sometimes we have sinkholes that make them not passable, but at some point we do need for people to be able to get through on that [Arch] street."
"I'm mindful of calls that we've received from residents down there that are sympathetic and understand that people want to make their voices heard, but we need to find a way to co-exist," Sheehan added.
Albany Police on Friday morning announced that 10 people had been arrested Thursday night for their actions at South Station. The charges include disorderly conduct, obstruction of governmental administration, rioting, unlawful assembly and criminal possession of a weapon. Two of the individuals were arrested for their actions April 14.
“For several days, protesters have occupied the roadway in front of the South Station. The Albany Police Department, in efforts to support the freedom of expression and to de-escalate a tense situation, did not interfere with this unlawful occupation.” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/9VsNYzM353— Chief Eric Hawkins (@ChiefHawkinsAPD) April 22, 2021