Condemnation Continues Following PLOT Columbus Day Protest
Binghamton Mayor Richard David is encouraging community leaders to join in the condemnation of the activist group: Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow or “PLOT” for disrupting October 14's Tournament of Bands high school marching band competition and the Italian Festival downtown to draw attention to inmate deaths since 2011 and other issues at the Broome County Jail.
David told reporters a day after the demonstration that shut down the parade for several minutes as protestors joined hands to block Court Street, that people have the right to demonstrate but not to block the street and disrupt a community event.
In spite of requests from numerous media outlets for comment, PLOT has been mum other than a statement released to local news organizations following the demonstration Monday,and a short response only to Fox 40’s request. Fox 40 posted the response on its website: “We agree with Mayor David that it is in the best interest of our community for elected officials to publicly condemn the work of those combating oppression and state violence, if they are compelled to do so. That way we know which side they're on, and who to hold accountable.”
The group is widely regarded as being anti-police and had most notably surfaced last winter during controversy over the search of four Binghamton middle school students whom district officials had said were acting strangely and during claims of police brutality following a complaint at the YWCA in Binghamton last year.
Arrested Monday were 36-year-old Masai Andrews of Endwell, 33-year-old Erik Goetz of Endicott, 27-year-old Sham-Al-Din Yasin Harper of Binghamton and 36-year-old Jordan Helin of Binghamton. They were charged with disorderly conduct. The violation carries a possible fine of up to $250 and up to 15 days in the Broome County Jail.