NYC & DC Protests Show Solidarity With Baltimore

by Amrita Khalid

As the dust from Baltimore’s riots begin to settle, activists from across the country gathered this week to usher the significance of Freddie Gray into different zip codes. Demonstrators in support of the Baltimore protests gathered Wednesday in New York City and Washington, D.C. The date carried additional weight as it was the 23rd anniversary of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, when the acquittal of police officers in the beating of taxicab driver King fueled four days of riots around the country. Despite their peaceful intent, several arrests were made during protests for Baltimore in New York City on Wednesday as well as in Ferguson earlier this week.

The New York Police Department arrested marchers during Wednesday's protest in New York City. This comes in light of Monday's news that several were arrested in a Ferguson, Missouri, protest in reaction to the Baltimore riots.

But less than 48 hours after the clashes in Baltimore, the protests in its neighboring cities were set on not going on a violent route. Demonstrators carried signs scribbled with #BlackLivesMatter, the hashtag that encapsulated the grim sequence of events of alleged police brutality that began last summer with the Ferguson riots and Eric Garner’s death and shows no signs of disappearing from the Twitter lexicon. The protest in New York were led by a group called Millions March NYC. It began in Union Square at 6 p.m. and then made its way downtown. According to the parade organizer’s tweets at 4:26 p.m., the crowd was around 600 strong.

Activist Keegan Stephan tweeted a Vine video showing what he described as New York Police Department officers making arrest warnings on the east side of Union Square. The NYPD had said over loudspeakers that it would arrest any protesters that crossed the roads.

Those arrested included a National Lawyer's Guild legal observer.

Around an hour after the New York group converged, a group in Washington, D.C., led by the D.C. Ferguson Coalition began gathering around the Gallery Place/Chinatown metro station.

The Washington Post's Perry Stein reported that crowds were peaceful as they blocked the 7th and H Street intersections in the busy downtown neighborhood.