One of the devices is removed by an officer.

 Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren Protestors demonstrating against police brutality and the shooting

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Protestors demonstrating against police brutality and the shooting of Michael Brown successfully shut down SR 99 for nearly two hours on Monday afternoon.

Several members of the group laid down across the Mercer overpass around 3 p.m., joined together by what appeared to be PVC piping emblazoned with the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” Police utilized rotary saws and jack-hammers to break the pipes free. There were unconfirmed reports that some of the pipes were filled with metal and concrete so as to hamper extraction.

Protestors in the road were joined by several dozen supporters standing on the side of the highway holding signs and singing. As each of the group’s members were cut out and promptly arrested the group erupted in cheers of support.

Seattle drivers were likely not quite as thrilled. Northbound 99 was backed up well into the viaduct, while traffic backed up in the southbound lane for at least a mile.

A press release handed out by organizers noted that the protestors were intending to lie in the road for four hours and twenty-eight minutes, the same amount of time unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown spent on the road after being fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri, in August of last year.

The group also provided a list of measures it wishes to see enacted. Among other things, the list includes “a congressional hearing investigating the criminalization of communities of color,” and “de-militarization [sic] of local law enforcement across the country.”

Related, Seattle Police, who largely left the non-road-bound protestor contingent alone, changed from standard police gear to riot uniforms nearly 1 and a half hours after the event began. They declined to cite a reason for the change-up.

View the complete slide-show here.

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren


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A protester glances at supporters on the sidewalk while lying in the middle of northbound SR-99.

A protester is prepared by police for extraction from the PVC device.

A protester is prepared by police for extraction from the PVC device.

A protester is prepared by police for extraction from the PVC device.

Police work to extricate protesters from PVC pipe devices locking them together.

Protesters stretch across both lanes of northbound SR 99.

Protesters stretch across both lanes of northbound SR 99.

Police prepare a protester for extrication.

Freed from her device, a protester is led away by police while a driver passing by in the southbound lanes slows to watch.

Police attempt to negotiate a particularly challenging PVC pipe device.

Supporters watch from the sidewalk.

Supporters watch from the sidewalk.

A protester is shielded by a safety tarp as police work to extricate him.

A protester is shielded by a safety tarp as police work to extricate him.

The last protester is taken into custody by police after blocking SR 99 for nearly two hours.

A protester glances out the rear window of a Seattle Police paddywagon.

A police officer in riot gear reads a press release and list of demands put forth by the protesters.

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