State tries to avoid protest march across Mario Cuomo Bridge

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TARRYTOWN -

More than a hundred women plan to march over the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Saturday to protest what they call the oppression of black women -- and state transportation authorities are trying to stop them.

The route of the Black Women's March, organized by Black Lives Matter Hudson Valley, will send marchers down the New York State Thruway and over the bridge.

Organizers say the governor's office has informed them they are not allowed to walk across the bridge.

The Thruway Authority says it is trying to work out an alternative route.

"The state proactively reached out to the event organizers to discuss safety concerns and offer ways to facilitate an alternative that does not involve walking in an active construction zone and roadway," an authority spokesperson told News 12. "Conversations with the organization are ongoing as we work to reach a mutually agreed upon solution."

State police say they support the constitutional right of any group to peacefully march and exercise freedom of speech, but marching over the bridge could be dangerous.

"This type of event presents significant safety issues for the marchers, drivers and members of law enforcement, and will lead to lengthy traffic delays throughout the region," state police said in a statement.

Organizers say they plan on having a peaceful protest but are preparing for the possibility of being arrested. They have a GoFundMe campaign raising potential bail money.

"I want to set an example for my daughter, who believes black is beautiful," says Yvonne Bermudez, who plans to march with her 6-year-old daughter Kelly.

The march is scheduled to begin Saturday at noon.

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