Protest against diesel trucks held outside Ezra Prentice

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local community is saying “enough is enough.”

Protestors took to the streets at Ezra Prentice Apartments on Friday in Albany. Every day, several diesel trucks travel down South Pearl Street.

Willie White said the stakes are high.

“They’re literally killing our kids,” he said.

The trucks pass by the Ezra Prentice Apartments and its playgrounds where kids and families are forced to breathe the exhaust fumes emitted into the air.

“These kids are out here every single day on this playground, and they don’t know what they’re breathing,” White said.

White is part of a protest group determined to put an end to the trucks by forcing them to take other routes. During a protest in October, things got heated, and a truck nearly ran him over.

But White said he won’t back down. Neither will fellow protestor Mahalia Cummings.

“It’s about justice; it’s about truth,” she said. “There are other options, and we just want to make them more visible and push that.”

They protested again on Friday. They held signs and handed out flyers. At one point, they stopped another truck. They driver was very angry and refused to roll down his window. Traffic behind him honked their horns, and one car sped by recklessly.

But eventually, White was able to talk with the driver and came to an understanding.

“We connected and I understand where he’s coming from,” White said. “He’s just trying to make a living. I don’t think he wants to come through here anymore. He assured me he was going to go back and talk to his company.”

White said that even if the driver was the only person they got through on Friday, it will still go a long way towards making a difference.

“Right now, the journey of 1,000 steps begins with this one step,” he said.

The group said they are just getting started, and there are more protests planned in the near future.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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