100 protesters removed from New Haven roadway


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Protesters blocked traffic in New Haven on Saturday afternoon. They were protesting against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. The demonstration ended with several arrests.

Connecticut State Police tweeted shortly after 4:45 p.m. that the Route 34 connector would be temporarily closed, but didn’t specify for how long.

Approximately 10 minutes later, police tweeted that the connector had been reopened since they moved the protesters off of the roadway.

Police said there were approximately 100 protesters there.

Shortly after the connector reopened, police tweeted that the area had been cleared.

The protest was organized by the grassroots organization Unidad Latina en Accion. Volunteers say the demonstration was supposed to be peaceful.

“We have the right to express our opinion,” said Megan Fountain, a volunteer. “We have a right to let our government know what our values are.”

State troopers and New Haven police blocked streets to protect everyone, but trouble started downtown. A protester sent News 8 a video of people shouting and then the police running.

“They started physically moving us to the sidewalk, putting their hands on us,” said protester Sean Gray. “Some of them were using serious force.”

Later, tensions continued building between protesters and the police, who asked protesters to move back. Police then taped off part of the sidewalk. Protesters responded by chanting. Those who saw the chaos were frightened.

“I’m 27 years old. It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced that in my whole life,” said Jasmine Javier, who was working nearby. “I’ve never seen anything so violent or absurd like that.”

Protesters were angry but also disappointed.

“Unfortunately I think the worst thing that happened here today is that there were kids, very young kids, who were out here to witness the way the police were handling people,” said protester Tai Olasanoye.

State police want to remind the public that it is a crime to block any roadway, that it is dangerous and will not be tolerated. They will be strictly enforcing all such laws. State police say the protesters obstructed an ambulance carrying a critically ill patient and due to that delay, ambulance personnel had to perform an emergency medical procedure in the ambulance instead of at the hospital.

Troopers from Troop G, Troop F and Troop I assisted the New Haven Police Department.

Norman Clement
Norman Clement

Norman Clement of New Haven was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct, Interfering with an Officer and Reckless use of the Highway by a Pedestrian.

News 8 reached out to New Haven Police for a comment. We are waiting to hear back from them.