Rendering courtesy GGP.
Demonstration to take place in Riverchase Galleria food court
A rendering of the Galleria as it is slated to appear following more than $60 million in renovation.
As part of the nationwide response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, a Facebook group called “Black Lives Matter – Birmingham” has planned demonstrations at The Summit and Riverchase Galleria on Friday.
The group has planned a shutdown of The Summit’s U.S. 280 entrance at 3 p.m. and asked participating protesters to wear black. At 4:30 p.m., there will be a “die-in” at the Riverchase Galleria food court. A die-in consists of protesters lying motionless on the ground for a set period of time to call attention to lost lives.
This is not the first protest of its kind in Birmingham. On Dec. 10 a group of demonstrators marched through Railroad Park and Five Points because of Brown and Garner’s deaths, which have brought a national spotlight to race issues and police violence.
Elisa Nelson, The Summit’s public relations representative, said that the safety of shoppers and business owners is “always our primary concern,” and The Summit will be working with local authorities to make sure traffic flows and parking is available on Friday. She had no further comment on the protests.
At this time, Black Lives Matter and representatives from Riverchase Galleria have not responded to requests for comment.
ALDOT Division 3 Engineer Brian Davis said the department is currently working on a plan to prevent traffic blockage from The Summit protests. He pointed out that 280 is a major artery not only for commuters, but for police and emergency vehicles.
“That’s a U.S. route. I can’t let anybody shut a U.S. route down,” Davis said.