Early this morning the Middletown Police Department received a tip that Wesleyan Students would be organizing a march that would “secretly” include a “die-in” at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street. This was to occur at rush hour. The president of Wesleyan also posted a blog supporting the march.
The Middletown Police Department then reached out to Wesleyan and the student organizing the march. We attempted to negotiate with that student to change the location of the march. She refused stating that the reason for the march was to “inconvenience people”.
After learning this, the Middletown Police Department determined that the best course of action was to shut down the intersection to avoid any accidents, we also advised the Board of Education and EMS to use alternate routes during the march.
There were approximately 300 students that participated in the march. The march was peaceful and respectful. Some students thanked us for keeping them safe during the march. The most anyone did in a negative way was to shake a sign near the officers.
The students cleared the intersection after occupying it for approximately eleven minutes. We then followed the students back to Wesleyan property to ensure their safety.
Several minutes later about half of the students started marching back toward Main Street and Washington Street. The students were advised that they could not occupy the intersection again. The students were allowed to march on the sidewalk and to use the crosswalk. We assisted them in the crosswalk. The students were cooperative.
There were no injuries reported during the incident and no one was arrested.
Copy of e-mail sent to the police department by a concerned citizen:
“Thought you guys might want to be informed of this. Planned for Monday, 12/8. From an email distributed to Wes students:
"Amazing work tonight! This email will lay out the logistics of tomorrow. All of this information is sensitive and important, so please read carefully! For those who were not able to attend the meeting tonight, our march starts at Exley Science Center (265 Church Street) at 3:00 PM.
The route is as follows: Exley --> Olin --> College Row (Albritton, Judd, North College/South College) --> Through Usdan --> Through the CFA --> XHouse/Center of American Studies --> Towards Washington St. & Main Street intersection
From there we will stage the die-in. White allies will be holding hands around those performing the die-in in the street (enough allies to occupy the four crosswalks, enclosing those who are dying in). There are no restrictions on who can die-in because regardless there are power in numbers, but there needs to be enough white allies creating a circle holding hands around those dying in (for it to function properly). The die-in will last for 11 minutes (significant of the 11 times Eric Gardner said that he could not breathe).
*DO NOT ADVERTISE THE DIE-IN!* (When you spread the word, spread the word about the March solely...pamphlets will be passed out regarding why we are doing this, national/local demands, information regarding your rights as a protestor, etc.). But, let me reiterate, we are not publicizing the die-in, we are strictly publicizing the March."”