UPDATE: 5 people arrested while marching for women's rights Saturday, per CPD
UPDATE: Chattanooga police say five people were arrested Saturday while marching for women's rights.
Officers were called to the 100 block of Market Street around 12:30 pm. Court documents explained that five individuals were participating in a protest march that was un-permitted.
Instead of marching on the sidewalk, they were in the middle of the road, which was open to traffic. Officers told them to get back on the sidewalk, but they refused, police said.
"Chattanooga Police Officers were forced to take action in order to prevent anyone from being injured or worse today," Chief David Roddy explained. "The Chattanooga Police Department supports community members who stand for things they care about, but it needs to be done in a way that does not pose a significant safety risk to the participants and others in and traveling through the area."
Chattanooga Women's March organizers said Saturday's event would only be a rally. The march portion of the event had been canceled due to a lack of funding, so those who chose to march did so on their own. According to Chairperson Jean-Marie Lawrence, three of the five people arrested were organizers with the march but weren't marching on behalf of the organization.
"It is unfortunate that we were unable to afford the costs associated with the march portion of the event," Lawrence explained. "We made every effort to notify attendees of this fact, encouraging anyone who chose to march to use sidewalks and obey traffic laws. However, as an individual and an activist myself, I understand the passion of those marching. We are keeping in contact with legal counsel and are prepared to raise funds for their release if necessary."
Alaina Cobb, Virginia Moss, William Nix, Joel Willis and Holly Johnson were all taken into custody and charged with one count of obstructing highway or other passageway.
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