Friday, December 5, 2014
For Eric Garner, We Walk
For the second night in a row, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets en masse. They marched to protest a grand jury's decision not to press charges against the NYPD officer responsible for the killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island this past July. Early Thursday evening, a large number of the protestors gathered in Foley Square near City Hall, before heading north on Broadway, bringing traffic to a standstill. Cars, trucks, buses--for quite some time, everything came to a halt.
From what I saw, the affected drivers and passengers did not seem to mind, with some even voicing their support, such as the cab driver in the video below. The honking is clearly audible, but if you look closely, you can see the thumbs-up, too.
With a camera trained on this captive taxi passenger, he was all-too-happy to oblige with an interview.
Many signs such as this bore the last words spoken by Eric Garner to the police:
Others offered a broader message, in the wake of Michael Brown, Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell and others.
On the way across the river, the Brooklyn Bridge, and later the Manhattan Bridge, were closed to traffic to accommodate marchers. By the time I got to the bridge, the protesters were gone, but so was the traffic, with the exception of a handful of police vehicles speeding back and forth:
It was a very eerie, but peaceful feeling. Back in Brooklyn, the police presence was much more visible than usual, as shown by the scene on Tillary Street:
The protests will likely continue through the weekend. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has announced that it will open a criminal civil rights investigation into the Eric Garner case.