WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Protesters drove through downtown Watertown Saturday morning and caused a traffic jam on Public Square.
The target of their protest? Governor Cuomo’s continued shutdown of most business in New York. As of now, Governor Cuomo has put the state on “pause” - his term - until May 15.
“We just want to spread word that our constitutional rights are being infringed on, and we all need to do something about it. This is a small stand, but it’s still a stand.,” said Steve Rubyor, one of the protesters.
Dozens of trucks and cars, many of them with American flags flying, participated in the protest. We also saw “Don’t Tread On Me” flags, and signs and flags supporting President Trump, who encouraged protests Friday with a series of tweets.
“They’re trying to divide us: essentials, non-essentials, ‘you can’t buy this in stores, you can’t do this, you’ve gotta wear a mask,’ it’s time to wake up,” said Chris Mayorga, a protester.
The parade of vehicles made its way down Arsenal Street to Public Square, horns blaring.
For about 15 minutes, it was hard to navigate the square; protesters blocked off two lanes, though you could still get through on a third lane.
Two Watertown police vehicles were present, but did not interfere. Eventually protesters headed up State Street.
" Let’s get our state opened back up, small businesses depend on it. We gotta get our government opened back up," said John Adams.
The protest was organized by Traci Jones and Zachary Redder, who told 7 News Friday “We’re not out to challenge the law enforcement, but we’re out to challenge the government."
The Watertown protest was a small version of much larger protests that have occurred in other states, including Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.