Princeton Police Announce Road Closures Ahead of Saturday’s Activity Downtown
UPDATE (FRIDAY EVENING): The group at the center of the story says they faked the news of Saturday’s rally for publicity. The New Jersey European Heritage Association wrote on Twitter Friday afternoon that they won’t be holding a rally in Palmer Square on Saturday.
“There isn’t going to be a march this Saturday, there never was,” the group said in part in Friday’s tweet.
It is not clear if that’s true or not at this time. NJ.com reports that the group may not had many members who would have turned out for a march.
“We think it’s a pretty small group,” Heidi Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center told NJ.com. “Maybe 20 at most.”
An update from local officials was not immediately available.
With news of rallies (and counter-protests) being planned in downtown Princeton on Saturday, the police department has announced plans for some road closures on Saturday. Additionally, they're reminding the public to obtain permits for any rallies that they may be planning tomorrow.
Based on what we've heard, the rallies are expected to take place in the Palmer Square area. A white supremacist group is planning to host a march in Princeton’s Palmer Square at noon this Saturday (January 12). Additionally, many groups have announced plans to come together for a (peaceful) counter-protest in the area.
As a result, the police are closing the streets in and around the Palmer Square area between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday (January 12).
"This is going to create congestion and expected delays. Motorists are asked to avoid the area," the police wrote in their statement on Friday.
Here's a breakdown of those closures:
- Palmer Square and Hulfish St. will be closed to all motor vehicle traffic beginning at 5 AM on Saturday, January, 12.
- Nassau Street will be shut down between University Place and Witherspoon St. at 10 AM.
- Parking along Nassau Street between University Place and Witherspoon Place will be reserved for any press in the area.
"The purpose of the permit is to give us the opportunity to assist you in safely organizing peaceful protests," the police said on Friday.
Here are a few notes from the police to make sure everyone is safe on Saturday:
- Protestors may carry signs that are not attached to poles or sticks.
- No weapons of any kind, glass or plastic water bottles will be allowed in designated protest areas on Palmer Square.