FREDDIE GRAY PROTESTS SPREAD AS NEW YORKERS GATHER IN UNION SQUARE
Wednesday, April 29, 2015, New York NY: With the chants of “Black Lives Matter!,” “Baltimore is Harlem!” and “Baltimore is Ferguson!” resonating to a hip-hop beat pounded out by street musicians throughout Union Square, hundreds of New Yorkers converged in one of Manhattan’s most historic intersections in a massive display of solidarity with the city of Baltimore to protest on behalf of Freddie Gray, the 25 year-old man who died in Baltimore police custody.
The multicultural demonstration commenced peacefully as guest speakers, including Erica Garner – daughter of Eric Garner who died after a Staten Island police officer subdued him with a chokehold during an arrest, rallied the crowd.
Participants relayed the messages imparted by the protest leaders by way of the “human microphone”’ – a practice which became popular during the Occupy Wall Street movement wherein persons surrounding the speaker repeat what the speaker says, thus amplifying the voice of the speaker.
When protesters marched towards additional Manhattan locales including Times Square, the Hudson River, Holland Tunnel, and the West Side Highway – more than 100 arrests were made by New York City police, mostly for disorderly conduct.
The Union Square protest, which was organized mostly by social media, was one of many demonstrations which have unfolded in American cities including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston and Ferguson, Missouri, among others, in opposition to police brutality and on behalf of Freddie Gray, who died from spinal cord injuries on April 19, one week after his arrest in Baltimore.