New Brunswick cancels planned tree lighting, citing protests
New Brunswick -- City officials cancelled tonight's planned tree-lighting ceremony in Monument Square, citing concerns it could be disrupted by a group protesting recent no-indictment decisions by grand juries on Staten Island and in Ferguson, Missouri.
The cancellation of the 5 p.m. event was posted on the city's website, and also referenced the weather forecast as a factor.
"Monument Square has also been announced as the planned destination for a group protesting the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. and New York, and is anticipated to occur at the same time as the tree lighting programming," the announcement reads. "Given the threat of inclement weather further complicating tonight’s scheduled events and the logistical problems of large numbers of people attempting to occupy the same space but for different purposes, the tree lighting ceremony has been canceled."
The announcement added that officials wanted to ensure that the New Brunswick Police Department could ensure the safety of the surrounding community as well as the "rights of the protesters to assemble and march peacefully."