Protesters in Lawrence block off Mass. Street after a drawing of George Floyd with noose around neck

Protesters in Lawrence blocked off Mass. St. near South Park for several days.
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:26 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Protesters in Lawrence began camping out on Mass. Street starting on Saturday after someone put a drawing and letter in South Park earlier in the day.

The drawing that started it all showed George Floyd with a noose around his neck and the words “obey” written on it.

A note found next to it stated the artist created it in order to criticize the black lives matter movement.

The drawing was found Saturday morning in South Park sparked several people to take action.

“I can’t even describe it, like we’re tired,” a protester said.

Protesters closed off Mass. Street from 11th Street to South Park using trash cans, benches, and tents to camp out.

They also posted signs, and wrote on buildings and streets.

“We’ve been out here since Saturday and this is even bigger than that. We was already going to come out here on July 1st, but this just prompted us,” the protester said.

Several businesses on Mass. Street say the street closure effects their business being opened.

One customer says it makes it difficult to get to it, “People like me can’t get to the restaurant to get food delivered to people who possibly can’t get out and get their own food, because of the corona, it’s not fair, it’s not right.”

“People are more worried about downtown than black and brown lives and that’s a serious problem, we have a issue here,” the protester said.

Protesters say they provided food for those who joined them.

“We’re not harming nobody, we’re helping people, even in our pain we still are helping people, this is what we do,” the protester said.

In the afternoon - police say a car drove through the protester’s barricades around 2:00 p.m. and that a second car did the same around 4:00 p.m.

No one was hurt - but Lawrence police attempted to move the protesters to the side of the street.

Six people were arrested in the process - but less than an hour later the chief of police decided to let them stay - and put up stronger barriers to prevent another car from driving through.

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