Black driver demands white BLM protesters stop blocking road in Austin so he can go to go to work to provide for his kids as rival gunmen face-off week after protester Garrett Foster was shot dead
- Austin Police were on high alert Saturday night as heavily-armed rival groups faced off in the city
- Gun-toting left-wing activists turned out to protect BLM protesters as they marched through Austin’s downtown
- Members of far-right paramilitary group Three Percenters were also reported to be out in the city brandishing semiautomatic weapons
- Police bolstered their forces amid fears that confrontations between the rival groups would turn violent
- They also warned residents to be ‘on guard’ amid fears armed protesters could break into residential buildings
- At night’s end, activists attempted to block the I-35 highway after being cleared out of the downtown area by police; one black motorist was filmed telling the group to get out of his way
A black motorist has been filmed ordering white BLM protesters to stop blocking a highway in Austin so he can get to work and provide for his children.
The footage, captured around 11.30pm on Saturday night, shows the man stepping out of his vehicle on the I-35 and confronting the activists who are refusing to let traffic pass.
‘I gotta go to work, I’m black! I’ve gotta go to work!’ the unidentified man yells at the group as he waves his hand in the air.
‘I’ve got bills! I’ve got kids! Get the f**k out of my way!’ he continues shouting before he makes his way back to his pick-up truck.
His words clearly had affect on the group, who are then seen meekly stepping to the sides of the road in order to let his car through.
The video quickly went viral on Twitter after it was shared by reporter Savanah Hernandez, with several remarking on the ‘irony’ of the situation.
‘A father, whose kid’s lives matter enough to him to confront the crowd on the way to his job to put food on the table. Respect!’ one wrote.
A black man has been filmed ordering white BLM protesters to stop blocking a highway in Austin so he can get to work and provide for his children
His words clearly had affect on the group, who were seen meekly stepping to the sides of the road in order to let his car through
The incident came on the tail end of a tense night in Austin, where heavily armed rival groups faced off against one another a week on from the shooting death of BLM supporter Garrett Foster.
Early in the evening, a group of gun-toting men were seen protecting left-wing demonstrators at a makeshift memorial set up for Garrett Foster
Local media reported that, across the street, members of the far-right paramilitary group Three Percenters stood watching on, brandishing semiautomatic weapons in an intimidating manner.
Members of another far-right group – the Boogaloo Boys – were also spotted cutting an imposing figure at the memorial.
Tensions were already high as the memorial had been destroyed earlier in the week by a right-wing activist who claimed Foster was ‘terrorist’ because he supported BLM, and was therefore ‘rightfully and legally euthanized’.
Shocking video shared to social media showed dozens of armed people walking around the streets of Austin before sundown.
Heavily armed rival groups faced off against each other in Austin on Saturday night – one week on from the shooting death of BLM supporter Garrett Foster. Members of the far-right Boogaloo Boys were seen creating an intimidating presence at his memorial on Saturday evening
Armed men in camoflauge – reported to be members of the Boogaloo Boys – stood around Foster’s memorial site
On Saturday evening, a group of gun-toting men said they were seen ready to march with and protect BLM protests
Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster (left) was shot dead last Saturday night as he marched through the city. His wheelchair-bound fiancee Whitney Mitchell (right) was with him at the time
The Austin Police Department feared tensions would explode by nightfall, and bolstered their forces accordingly.
The Department released a statement saying they called in extra cops and state troopers to help protect both people and property.
‘We are bringing in the necessary staff, and have partnered with other local law enforcement agencies as we have done throughout the past few months, to allow for those peacefully and lawfully practicing their first amendment rights while also working to prevent any violence or destruction of property,’ a statement from the Department read.
Meanwhile, police also issued a warning to locals living in the downtown area to be ‘on guard’ amid rumors activists could break into high-rise residential buildings and stage rallies from rooftops.
There were reports on social media that some protesters may attempt to reach the roofs of buildings to protect BLM supporters by acting as ‘snipers’.
Two police helicopters were reported to be circling over the city at 8pm.
There were also whispers that activist planned to take over the Austin Police Department and create an autonomous zone.
Shocking video shared to social media showed dozens of armed people walking around the streets of Austin before sundown
Video showing heavily armed protesters from both left and right-wing groups began circulating on social media on Saturday evening
The Department released a statement saying they called in extra cops and state troopers to help protect both people and property
One journalist shared this snap showing a wall of police officers with shields formed a protective barrier in the city’s downtown
However, police deployed heavy-handed tactics to keep the situation from spiraling out of control.
Video shared to Twitter by Nate Kidwell shows officers on horseback and bicycles trying to clear out crowds shortly as they moved down the street.
Some protesters clashed with cops, spooking the horses and causing a commotion. Bike police reportedly began using pepper spray to control the crowds.
According to one witness, mounted police also cleared out other parts of the city later in the evening, yelling: ‘This is the Austin Police. You are violating state law. You must move out of the street immediately. If you do not you will be subject to arrest for obstructing the roadway. ‘
Elsewhere, police with riot gear, including shields, were seen forming a protective barrier in the city’s downtown.
A wall of officers also set up outside the Austin Police Department headquarters to thwart off any attempts by activists to create an autonomous zone.
Some dejected protesters took to Twitter saying that they were going home and that police and troopers had complete control of the streets.
According to one witness, mounted police also cleared out other parts of the city later in the evening
A wall of officers also set up outside the Austin Police Department headquarters to thwart off any attempts by activists to create an autonomous zone
Austin has on high-alert following the shocking slaying of Foster at the BLM march last Saturday night.
Army Sergeant Daniel Perry, 33, opened fire on Foster after driving into a crowd of demonstrators.
Perry claims he came across the protest by accident while working as a ride share driver, and that he only opened fire in ‘self defense’ after Foster allegedly waved his AK-47 at him.
WHAT HAPPENED TO BLM SUPPORTER GARRETT FOSTER?
On Saturday night, July 25, Sergeant Daniel Perry allegedly drove into a crowd of 100 Black Lives Matter protesters marching through the city.
Perry claims he came across the protest by accident while working as a ride share driver, and suddenly felt threatened amid the large crowd.
Garrett Foster – who was marching with his disabled fiancée Whitney Mitchell – was armed with an AK-47.
According to Perry, Foster began waving the weapon in his direction, causing him to pull out his own gun and shoot Foster in self-defense.
Foster, 28, a former US Air Force mechanic, was shot three times and later died in his hospital from injuries.
Shelia Foster, Garrett’s mother, said her son had previously served in the military and described him as a man committed to social justice, who had peacefully protested almost every night for the past 50 days with Mitchell
Foster’s fiancée Whitney Mitchell is seen center during a memorial march for her late partner, one day after he was shot and killed