Protesters shut down US 36 at rush hour

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Demonstrators in Boulder turned rush hour traffic into a standstill on Highway 36 Monday evening. Protesting the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City, they made their way onto the freeway chanting and holding signs. Drivers were forced to just wait it out.

There was a plan in place and Boulder Police along with other law enforcement agencies were prepared as hundreds of protesters swarmed the streets. One protester said, “It is dangerous but I think this has been made pretty publicly known.”

It was known that these protesters intended to march onto the freeway, and that's exactly what they did. They zig-zagged across 28th Avenue and then onto the overpass and freeway. The protesters chose to lie down on the road for 4 1/2 minutes on highway 36, creating a huge backup for drivers.

One driver said, “People need to go places. It’s unfortunate we have to wait for people holding up signs."

Some, however, supported the officers, upset about the time and energy being spent to watch over the protests. “You know how much resources are going toward this?” asked one.

Others used this as an opportunity to teach the next generation about free speech and police protection. Niels Damrauer brought his two boys and said, “I wanted them to see this first amendment right of ours. They’re nervous but I told them it was safe and I told them the police are protecting us.”

Boulder Police say no one was arrested but they did ask demonstrators to stage the “die-in” at 28th and Colorado so they could be better protected. Protestors chose not to do that.

Over the weekend about 500 people staged a "die-in" on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder in solidarity with opposition to the grand jury decisions in New York and Ferguson.