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Crowds From Eric Garner Rally, March Cause Concern For Businesses, Residents

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With so many people pouring into a small section of Staten Island for Saturday’s march and rally over the death of Eric Garner, there was some concern from local businesses and residents over the crowds.

But as CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, some locals were willing to accept the inconvenience.

“I decide. I been here, I know people here, so I decide to open up,” store owner Upali Gunarpne said.

The march also forced the closure of a number of streets near the protest, upsetting some residents.

“Suppose I need anything from the store—heart medicine or something for my mom and I can’t get it and she dies,” area resident Robert Madrid said.

Having busloads of protesters deposited into one small neighborhood was a concern for some who live nearby.

“Yeah, my husband is very mad about this,” a female motorist told CBS 2.

“It’s scary. I think LA riots. But I’m optimistic because I think New Yorkers have something to say and they’ll be peaceful,” Staten Island resident Marsha Hershkowitz said.

On one street closed to traffic, a pharmacy was open for slower-than-normal business.

“Well, I decide to stay open because I don’t anticipate any problem,” pharmacy owner Esar Gangadin said.

The St. George Greenmarket, usually busy on a Saturday, had far fewer customers, Slattery reported.

Because streets were closed, commuter Joanne Liu was walking instead of taking public transportation.

But Jason Snyder, who lives a few blocks away from the event, did not object to the protest.

“If a street gets closed, alright. It’s a little sacrifice we make so people can have their voices heard,” he said.

Although it was a day of inconvenience for some, many of those affected told CBS 2 it will perhaps result in a safer city.

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