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Talk radio host shuts down Huntsville traffic to illustrate absurdity of ‘die-in’ protests

Die-in (noun): a demonstration in which people lie down as if dead.

“There is a right way to protest and a wrong way to protest. Laying down in the middle of the road is the wrong way and shame on the politicians who are afraid to stand up and tell them ‘no.'”

That is the point Huntsville conservative talk radio personality Dale Jackson says he wanted to get across on Monday when he staged a one-man protest, lying down in the middle of the street blocking traffic on one of Huntsville’s busiest thoroughfares as local residents tried to make their way home from work.

The genesis of Jackson’s idea came when word started to spread on social media that several Huntsville residents were planning a demonstration they had dubbed “Shut it Down Huntsville.” Their plan to was to start in the parking lot of the Oakwood University Church and march up University Drive, “blocking all traffic in protest.”

The protest mirrored many others taking place around the country in the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Garner deaths and subsequent grand jury decisions.

When they reached a certain point on University Drive, the roughly 300 protestors who showed up on Friday staged a “die-in,” blocking traffic for several minutes as frustrated commuters sat in gridlock.

An image that was shared on social media promoting the "Shut it Down Huntsville" protest
An image that was shared on social media promoting the “Shut it Down Huntsville” protest

Jackson decided to respond. Here’s his explanation:

They wanted to claim it was about Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two guys who would still be alive if they weren’t breaking the law and didn’t resist arrest. They had a good protest, good turnout and all the kids were respectful to police. They followed the rules that were laid out for them.

But those rules were just for them.

This bothered me for many reasons, mostly because when the Tea Party was active in 2009 and 2010 they were asked to obtain permits for everything they did and told not to block traffic, this was not asked of this group. The cops barricaded the road for these folks and let them close down traffic.

I think this sets a ridiculous and new precedent, so I sought out to prove how ridiculous this is.

I decided I would attempt to do the same on Monday at rush hour. I announced on my show Monday that I would be holding a “Police Lives Matter” and ” The Truth Matters” protest. I told my listeners not to join me because the last thing I wanted to do is actually disrupt people’s day. I figured the police would inform me, reasonably, that they weren’t going to let me wander down the street and lie on University Drive.

To his surprise, not only did the police allow it, seven units escorted him along the route and blocked traffic for two minutes while he laid in the middle of the road, staging his “die-in” while holding a sign that said, “Police Lives Matter! The Truth Matters!”

Here’s a short video of him walking in front of the police cruisers:

(more after the video)

And here are a couple of images from Jackson’s “die-in”…

Dale Jackson Die-In

“When I watched the Oakwood University protest, I thought to myself, ‘This is ridiculous. I can’t believe they shut down traffic for this.’ So I thought I’d put together a one-man protest, which would be even more absurd,” Jackson told Yellowhammer by phone on Tuesday. “I figured they’d tell me, ‘Absolutely not. What’s wrong with you?’ But they didn’t and I ended up walking down the street with seven cop cars. It’s the dumbest thing in the world. It’s really dumb.

“I was definitely wanting to support the police, that was part of the point,” he continued. “But the biggest point is that there is a right way to protest and a wrong way to protest. Lying down in the middle of the road is the wrong way and shame on the politicians who are afraid to stand up and tell them ‘no.'”