A few photos from the march in NYC yesterday.
I got to Washington Square Park a little bit before 2pm, and when I arrived, the place was packed. Even as people started moving up Fifth Avenue, the paved and grassy areas were filled with people, from what I could see. I normally hate crowded places, but seeing everyone gathered together with signs of solidarity endeared me to this particular crowded place. When my boyfriend finally found me in the park, we made our way to the main area where people were starting to move up Fifth Avenue.
Every so often the chants would change, “Hands up, don’t shoot” to “Black lives matter,” etc. I’m typically a very quiet person, but this issue is worth shouting about. The signs were inspiring. There was an organization handing out pre-made signs for those who didn’t show up with one, but the handmade signs were striking. In particular, there was a whole street-wide banner of just Eric Garner’s eyes that was extremely moving when you saw it.
It was a peaceful march. Big, loud, lively. We made more than just noise; our presence and our actions spoke louder than any words we said. There were barricades on the sides a few times, with police officers along the route every so often. Maybe this was just me, but I got a little bit of a thrill whenever we passed the cops with chants like, “No justice, no peace. No racist police.” Though I understand that “Not all cops” are racists and murderers, it reminded me of a particularly good analogy I came across on tumblr once about “Not all men.” Say that you have a bucket of M&Ms, and someone says to you “Here, have a few of these M&M’s. However, 10% of these M&Ms are poisonous.” Not all of the M&Ms are poisonous, but you’re going to end up with just a little less trust for these M&Ms, right?
What I found extremely powerful was the huge range of ages I saw at the march. Entire families showed up, some with coordinated banners, others simply showing up to chant as a group. There were young toddlers being pushed in strollers to old women carrying signs with thin arms and speaking as loudly as they could. Having the entire community band together in solidarity was inspiring. Motivational. Everyone of every age knows that something isn’t right, and they’re coming together to fix it. No justice, no peace. P.S. I don’t care if you went to Santa Con after the march, but if you chose a bar crawl over an important and powerful protest, then you need to think about your life and your choices.