BUFFALO, N.Y. — Mayor Byron Brown called Thursday afternoon's protest that shut down a busy downtown intersection peaceful, but illegal.
Buffalo Police made arrests, as part of Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo was closed due to a protest that lasted several hours starting around noon.
When police used a loudspeaker to warn them they had five minutes to leave the streets, nine who refused were arrested.
"The protest was peaceful, but it was illegal," Brown said. "The police response to the protest was appropriate.
"Often times, when protesters organize protest activities in the city, they work with the Buffalo police department to ensure the safety of protesters, the safety of members of the community, and the free flow of commerce in our city. This did not occur in this particular instance."
At one point, some of the protesters sat down in the middle of the intersection of Delaware and Chippewa, completely shutting down traffic in the area. Shortly before 3 p.m., Buffalo Police moved in and made nine arrests.
The mayor said the city and police often work with those planning to protest an issue to ensure the safety of all of those involved. He said this did not happen in this instance; and while they respect people's freedom of speech, he deemed the police response "appropriate."
Those arrested are facing charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing governmental administration and unlawful assembly.
Dozens of people protested the government's immigrant detention camps outside the ICE offices located inside the Delaware North building. This is part of a national effort to call attention to what the organizers call inhumane conditions faced by immigrants at the border.
Some of the same groups involved in Thursday's demonstration plan to hold others on Friday evening in Buffalo, Amherst and Batavia.