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PHOTOS: 30,000 Take Over New York City to Demand End to Racist, Violent Policing

December 14, 2014 in Blogs

By Aaron Cantú, AlterNet

Some protesters were mocked by groups of drunken white hecklers in Santa outfits.

On Saturday, about 30,000 people poured into the streets of Manhattan to protest unaccountable, racist police violence. The march was organized by a group called Millions March. Prominent figures like the rapper Nas, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, showed up to a rally organized by grassroots activists, making it the scrappy counterpart to a glossier march happening the same day in Washington, DC, which was organized by Al Sharpton's National Action Network.

By 2pm there were already thousands of people in Washington Square Park, including college students, families from the outer boroughs, old-school peace activists, black-clad anarchists, even busloads of students from high schools and middle schools from across the Northeast. At about 2:10, members of the Justice League, a nonprofit organization with deep connections to City Hall, made their arrival known with a banner and a loud proclamation of “No justice, no peace.” As thousands prepared to march down 5th Avenue, two members of Justice League spoke through a PA system, leading the crowd with chants of “Whose streets? Our streets,” and “Black lives matter.”

Middle school students from New Jersey.

There were so many people that even an hour after the first few waves began marching, hundreds were still in the park.

“The streets have not been given to us,” one Justice League member said. “We have taken it from them. Shut it down!”

The streets had in fact been given to marchers: The route through Manhattan was planned in advance with the city in order for people of various ability and ages to show up, according to the organizers. While people began to swarm the streets, which were barricaded on the sides, Nicholas Hayward Sr. stood stone-faced in sunglasses and a black baseball cap near the arches. On his shirt and cap were buttons with images of his young son, Nicholas Hayward Jr. 

Hayward said his son had been shot and killed by an NYPD officer in 1994 after the officer saw him playing with a toy …read more


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