Yesterday, nearly 50,000 people gathered in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park to participate in #MillionsMarchNYC, an act of resistance against police brutality.
The protests were originally organized by 23-year-old Synead Nichols and 19-year-old Umaara Iynaas Elliott, but as word spread, thousands of people, all different ages and ethnicities, were seen marching.
The protests’ purposes were to bring awareness about racially-motivated police brutality, as well as bring justice to those who have already been victimized by it, such as in the cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
The family members of Mike Brown, Jordan Davis, Shantel Davis, Sean Bell, Emmitt Till, Alberta Spruill and Ramarley Graham, Kimani Gray helped to lead the march from Washington Square Park to the New York City Police Department Headquarters, with big names coming out to join, such as Russell Simmons, Nas, and Kevin Liles.
Organizer Synead Nichols said of the march:
“For over three hours we marched throughout Manhattan with the survivors of police brutality and homicide. We cried with them, yelled with them. They marched because their sons and daughters will never be able to march again,” said Synead Nichols, Millions March NYC founder. “Together we peacefully demonstrated that NYC, and people in cities across the country, will not stand for a police system that shoots to kill with no accountability. This is only the beginning.”
Umaara Iynaas Elliott had this to say:
“Our work didn’t begin here and it won’t stop here. It will continue for as long as necessary. We are targeting policing practices and systemic problems that weren’t created overnight and won’t stop with one day of action,” said Umaara Iynaas Elliott, Millions March NYC co-founder. “However, there are immediate actions that can and should be taken, including the firing of Daniel Pantaleo. Given his illegal policing tactics that resulted in the death of Eric Garner and ruled a homicide, we do not believe that he should be policing our communities.
There were other protests taking place around the country for the National Day of Resistance, with many involved hoping to take things to another level on a local, state, and federal level.
At the University of California in Berkeley, however, things took a turn for the horrific as cardboard cutouts of black lynching victims were seen hanging over the school’s gate entrance, in a tree, and on the floor.
With the words “I Can’t Breathe” on the cutouts, the photos of victims were from 1911, and were put up in an effort to go against the protests occurring this week in connection to Eric Garner’s killing.
See the gruesome photos here.