UPDATED Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. C.T.:
Protesters outraged over the Ferguson grand jury verdict marched through the streets of New York City Wednesday night.
Many people around the country were angry and afraid as they took to the streets to rally late Monday night to protest the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict White police officer Darren Wilson, who senselessly gunned down black unarmed teen, Michael Brown, Jr.
Protesters held signs, chanted, cried out what has become the rallying cry since Brown’s Aug. 9 death, “Hands up, Don’t shoot!” Ferguson protestors were only seeing red as they burned buildings, turned over vehicles, taunted police, vandalized businesses, fueled by the fact that justice was not served in the Brown case. Amid the chaos, police reportedly made 29 arrests in Ferguson.
For far too many protesters, Monday’s decision in the racially charged case was reminiscent of their own harrowing experiences with police. Police personnel in cities across the country braced themselves for demonstrations that could have taken an ugly turn. However in most instances, ralliers were reportedly peaceful in their demonstrations, according to WREG-TV.
In New York City, where the tensions between police and civilians of color are stressed to the point of snapping, over 1,000 Brown supporters flocked to Manhattan holding up signs such as “Black Lives Matter,” chanting and at one point, knocking over police barricades and blocking traffic but there were, reportedly, no real major violent clashes. Civil right activist Al Sharpton and his advocacy group, the National Action Network, has planned several protests at federal court houses in cities around the country at noon Tuesday and one such rally will be held at Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza.
Several hundred folks gathered in Philadelphia for five hours after the indictment decision was announced to display their dismay. Tensions between police and demonstrators did surge at one point as folks shouted “f— the police.” Officers held a strong line as protesters tried entering three highway on-ramps as well to shut them down; there were only two arrests.
In our nation’s capitol, crowds assembled outside of the White House to have their voices heard, some protesters even stretched out on the pavement to drive the point home even further about the disgust they felt, after hearing the indictment’s outcome. Speeches were made as the Secret Service stood watch over those in attendance. The protesters dispersed at around midnight and there were no violent outbursts at all.
A group of Brown supporters peacefully gathered in front of the Colorado Capitol in Denver calling for nonviolence.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the famed Lake Shore drive in Chicago two hours before the grand jury reached their verdict. Justice-seekers marched in the cold, chanting, holding up signs as officers in riot gear kept the surging masses from moving east or west. Peace, however, reigned supreme, as law enforcement announced no arrests and no reports of violence or destruction in a city where the homicide rate is one of the highest in the country.
In Atlanta, known as the “cradle of the civil rights movement,” a number of civil-rights activists gathered outside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building to address the media after the verdict was announced. Activists do plan to rally in downtown Atlanta from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Underground Atlanta. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in a statement that he urges everyone taking part in demonstrations to do so peacefully.
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