A Black Lives Matter group invaded "Candy Cane Lane" on Friday night — a residential neighborhood in West Allis, Wisconsin, decorated with Christmas lights to benefit children with cancer — marching and chanting and shouting through bullhorns at vehicles lined up in the streets to see the displays.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
What is Candy Cane Lane?
Here's a brief history of Candy Cane Lane from its website:
In December,1984, a wonderful group of neighbors living in West Allis, Wisconsin, joined together to collect donations for the MACC Fund — Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., in honor of a neighbor's child diagnosed with cancer. The neighbors worked in concert in decorating their homes and encouraged visitors to make a small donation as they drove through the festively enhanced neighborhood. All of the money raised went to supporting research, treatment, and the eventual discovery of a cure for childhood cancers and related blood diseases.
What happened Friday night?
Several videos showed the protesting group — the People's Revolution — marching through the brightly lit streets chanting "Black lives matter!" "No justice! No peace!" and "Whose lane? Our lane! Whose streets? Our streets!" The People's Revolution has protested for months in Wauwatosa, as member of the group is accused of firing a gun at former police officer Joseph Mensah, Wisconsin Right Now reported.
The outlet said the Milwaukee County Crime, Fire, and Police News page on Facebook contained comments about the protest. "Yes, they came through. Did not obey any traffic rules," one woman wrote, Wisconsin Right Now noted.
One man added, "My significant other lives on Candy Cane Lane, and she just texted me – BLM just crashed Candy Cane Lane! …they were blasting music so loud that it made her windows and walls shake and scared the crap out of her dogs," the outlet said, adding that the man also had an issue with the group disrupting a charity: "If you don't have a problem with this, then not only are you part of the problem, you are also a Class A Asshole!!!!"
Here's a video of the march:
TPR- Day 204- MERRY CHRISTMAS CANDY CANE LN #neverstopvoices #independentmedia youtu.be
Wisconsin Right Now also said a man shared a post from a friend:
So my son and I were playing in the living room, and we heard very loud music and people chanting from the outside. We open up the front door to see what all the commotion was about. It was a "Black Lives Matter" march going up and down my block and through Candy Cane Lane. These people saw my "Back the Badge" sign and "Trump 2020" sign and began to shout at us. They began to give us the middle finger and shouted, "F*** YOU F*** THE POLICE F*** TRUMP!" Uhm really? I am holding my ONE year old son in my arms. Glad to see how "peaceful" and "respectful" these people and protests really are lol. What a bunch of pieces of s**t.
Available videos so far don't depict such a confrontation — but the latter YouTube video does show a woman apparently confronting the group in the street:
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Mariah Smith shared a livestream of the march during which she acknowledged that several non-participants were "mad as hell" at the group. Prior to the march she asked her comrades, "Ready to make some f***in' noise, man?"
What did police have to say?
"Last evening, starting at about 6:40 pm, we received a handful of calls of a protest group moving through Candy Cane Lane. The callers indicated that the group was causing traffic congestion and noise disturbances. West Allis officers responded to the area and monitored the situation. There was heavy traffic congestion related to Candy Cane Lane. There were reports of protestors walking in the roadway and using a bullhorn. Officers did not observe any violence or vandalism. No arrests were made and no citations were issued," police told Wisconsin Right Now.
What did supporters of the protest have to say?
Never Stop Media LLC defended the People's Revolution group: "The group planned the march through Candy Cane Ln with the intent to bring awareness to the neighborhood and stand up for [people of color] who live in the area. Marchers were seen dressed in holiday spirit and of course Santa made a special appearance for the occasion."
In addition, Never Stop Media noted:
In our video it clearly shows demonstrators walking down the center of the streets to not impede any of the vehicles. None of these vehicles were surrounded, stranded or harassed. Posts claiming that TPR harassed people who did not approve of the protest are also not true. You can see in our video posted that when met with distain, protestors wished those people a Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday with of course the chant that "Black Lives Matter" as they continued to march. Posts also claim that TPR was terrorizing children who were looking at the holiday decorations. In the video posted by us it clearly shows families, both black and white with children showing full support for the group with parents and children yelling black lives matter. When demonstrators approached organizers (also standing in the streets) who were collecting donations they were asked to go around because they were trying to collect money. Members of TPR formed a wall as the rest of the group walked past so that organizers could collect their donations without interruption. This can also be seen in our video. At no time were donations interrupted for the MAAC Fund.
Child shouting 'Black lives matter!' with adult encouragement during Candy Cane Lane protestImage source: YouTube screenshot
The People's Revolution marches also chanted, "We have every right to be in these streets!" and "All lives don't matter until black lives matter!"