Gas station fight erupts over gas station’s owner’s plan to shut down an Alabama gas station and drive away the protesters who have been trying to prevent it.
The protests, which began Monday at the BP station in Florence, Ala., have been peaceful so far.
But on Wednesday, some protesters, who are carrying signs that read “Gas station owners not welcome here” and “Shut down the gas station,” started chanting.
A video of the incident showed protesters throwing bottles at the station owner, Michael Sivak.
Sivack says he was at the store with his wife, who were working on a project and they were going to shut the store down.
He said he did not see the protesters, but the manager told him that they were trying to stop him from doing his job.
Sivak says he had a ticket and a warning.
“He came over and asked us to leave, but we were not leaving.
We were just there,” Sivaka said.
Eventually, Sivaks employees were able to get the store’s doors open.
At some point, protesters began to block the entrance to the gas pump and the station’s windows.
The police responded and escorted protesters to a nearby parking lot.
Some protesters, including the local chapter of the NAACP, tried to block traffic to the BP gas station, but that didn’t help.
They eventually moved onto the BP store and then onto the parking lot itself, where police began to disperse them.
In Florence, demonstrators blocked traffic from passing through the BP building.
Police say one person was arrested, but it wasn’t clear how many.
One protester was pepper-sprayed, and the Alabama Department of Public Safety says it is investigating.
Follow @jeremykraus on Twitter for more local news.
Read or Share this story: https://usat.ly/1pjb3PZ