Protester chains himself to construction equipment, shuts down Peachtree Street for hours

ATLANTA — Traffic is flowing again on Peachtree Street in midtown Atlanta after a protester locked himself to construction equipment. The activist was protesting Atlanta’s planned public safety training center.

Police say the man used PVC pipe and other materials to lock his arms to a construction elevator shaft at a Brasfield and Gorrie work site near 17th Street. Brasfield and Gorrie is one of the head contractors building the training facility.

He showed up at around 5:45 a.m., forcing the shutdown of Peachtree Street for nearly two hours. Channel 2 Action News This Morning showed you the road closures and traffic delays building in the area.

“We train for this, we’re ready for it, we were able to call in other resources and knocked it out pretty quick,” said Maj. Christian Hunt of the Atlanta Police Department.


By about 8 a.m., officers had cut the device and arrested 34-year-old Michael Czajkowski, charging him with criminal trespassing and obstruction.

Throughout the incident, protesters marched along the sidewalk, chanting slogans against the training facility.

“This is the civil rights capital,” said Hunt. “We will allow you to peacefully protest, but if you break the law you will be held accountable.”

This is the second time in two months that protesters locked themselves to construction equipment. In January, two activists attached themselves to a Brasfield and Gorrie site on Juniper Street and 12th Street. They, too, were charged with criminal trespassing. The road closure lasted four hours.

In a news release Thursday from the protesters, Czajkowski said, “They want us to be afraid, but I’m not going to yield. I’m going to take action and I’m going to make it joyous.”

City officials say the training center is set to be complete by December.


Comments on this article