‘Wake Up!’ 1000s take to streets across US protesting police brutality
A wave of peaceful protests, aimed at denouncing police violence, swept across the US on Saturday, with the number of protesters peaking in Los Angeles, where there were over 5,000 in the “Millions March for First Amendment Rights.”
“Hands up, don’t shoot”, “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace,” – these mottos united demonstrations that took place in several major American cities – Los Angeles, New York and Ferguson, where there have been several cases of fatal shooting by the police.
The protesters were calling for justice for those killed by police – Michael Brown (Ferguson) and Eric Garner (New York), as well as Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego (both from Los Angeles) among them.
— JewishJihadi™ (@blastedsilver) December 28, 2014
“Every 28 hours a person is killed in the United States by a police officer or authority figure or vigilante, and nothing stops for them,” Kirbie Joseph, an organizer of the march in New York, told The New York Times. “Everything goes business as usual, and so we can’t stop.”
In Los Angeles, over 5,000 activists, students and even celebrities participated, making police shut down streets on the proposed route of the march, as a safety measure. The protest was peaceful and no arrests were made, but a car hit a demonstrator, according to RT’s RUPTLY video agency. Twitter users reported the protester didn’t require medical aid.
— Delonte (@mettawordlife83) December 28, 2014
“We are not in any way, shape or form attempting to antagonize or to create some type of division between us and the police, but rather to highlight the things we feel have been done unjustly,” student Keshad Adeniyi told CBS2/KCAL9 TV station.
On Saturday afternoon, New York saw a 200-strong rally against police violence, organized by the family of Akai Gurley, an unarmed black man, who was shot dead by a police officer in November in what was later described as “an unfortunate accident.”
The march followed the funeral of Officer Rafael Ramos, who was killed in his patrol car with Officer Wenjian Liu last week. It also came after Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call to suspend the protests aimed against police brutality amidst the recent killings of police officers.
A Silent March took place in Ferguson, Breitbart News reported on Saturday. However, the crowd gradually became loud, with chants “FTP, F**k the Police”, “You Can’t Stop the Revolution,”“If We Don’t Get It, Shut It Down”.
— Camille (@cam_becks) December 28, 2014
The city of Ferguson is a “triggering town”, where protest broke out the day after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown this August. The grand jury decision "not to indict Wilson," the police officer who killed the unarmed black teenager, unleashed a torrent of demonstrations across the whole country in November, also registering public reaction around the globe – in the UK and Japan.