Observing #GridlockBuffalo

As I walked down Franklin Street, I could hear the sound of car horns getting louder, and louder. It wasn’t long before I came upon the end of the line of cars, all heading to Niagara Square, for the Grid Lock in Niagara Square protest. A protest against our governments’ Stay-at Home Orders.

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Photo By Peter Henley

It was just before noon on a sunny Monday. Even though it was midday, the sidewalks themselves were quiet, not filled with the normal hustle and bustle of city life as we know it. Instead, it was just a steady stream of cars in the street. Reaching Niagara Square, I could see it was completely filled with vehicles, including cars and pickup trucks. Most vehicles could be seen waiving the American flag. Some waived Trump 2020 flags, and a few others waived the Gadsden flag, with its’ yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. I only saw one Confederate flag waiving from a pickup truck.

Oddly enough, as I first entered Niagara Square, a strange sense of pride ran through me. As much as I don’t agree with the entire idea of the protest, it’s still pretty cool that we can still come out and speak our minds. The Buffalo police took the approach of just standing by to make sure nothing got out of control. There was one only one time the police intervened. It could be heard through a loud speaker telling people to stay in their cars. Nothing more after that.

The first estimate of cars in attendance I heard was fifty. I thinks this was way low of an estimate. After being involved in many cruise shows, I can honestly say that there was well over one hundred cars. Maybe closer to one hundred fifty. As for counter protesters, maybe just over a half dozen. One had a #stayhome sign, another wearing t shirt telling trump to f off. One woman was giving two thumbs down.

The only heated encounter I witnessed was between a woman and a minivan full of people. Not sure if I can take someone serious when protesting from a minivan, but I digress. The woman must have been a nurse, or at least someone who’s been seriously affected by the virus, as she was very emotional. They yelled from the minivan, and drove off.

And yes, there was even a sign with #billsmafia on it. Hats off to the guy, actually with three signs. One asking if we’re still mad at Jon Bon Jovi (#billsmafia), another sign saying we miss the SNL David Paterson skits (Cuomo not funny), and Ayahuasca cures this shit. Truthfully, I had to Google Ayahuasca. Apparently its tea like brew made from the leaves of the Psychotria viridis shrub along with the stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine (www.healthlinec.om).


And of course there were two joggers who took little notice to the events, and ran right through everything, because you know, runners gotta run. And thinking of it now, they did not have a mask on.

There were quite a few other people around, but mostly people who work in the immediate area, just standing around watching the commotion. And then people like myself, just observing. Not sure in the grand scheme of things if that could be considered a success or not. I will say that I don’t see much gained by this, other than some people blowing of some steam after being house bound. But then do any protests really
mean much, unless they are of a large scale.

Peter Henley