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‘Hands Up! Don’t Shoot’: Protesters Rally in New York City in Solidarity with the People of Ferguson

On Thursday evening, New Yorkers joined with cities around the world to mark the Day of Rage against the death of Michael Brown and to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson.

Shouting “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” the activists in Union Square held signs calling attention to the death of the unarmed teen in Ferguson as well as the strangling death of Eric Garner in Staten Island.

There were also calls for racial unity and peace, including one sign that read, “We need each other to survive,” and another held by a little girl reading simply, “Children of the World.”

After a peaceful gathering in Union Square, the protesters marched up to Times Square where they were met by a heavy police presence and ultimately corralled near 42nd and 9th avenue. At least four arrests have been reported.

According to one protester,” they caged us in and keep attacking the protestors. [sic]. We’re peaceful.”

Another said that they heard shouts of “Let them go!” as arrests were being made.

The Union Square protest was largest of the New York protests – others were held in Harlem, Brooklyn and Queens –  and was just one of a number of events staged around the country today to draw attention to the number of lives – especially black lives – lost every year to police brutality as well as the devolving situation in Ferguson that has turned a community into a militarized war zone.

One young woman who traveled all they way from Atlanta to attend the New York rally said she felt that she must do something to stop the violence.

“That could have been my nephew, my brother, my father,” Abdul said, speaking of the death of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and other black men. “I want to put a stop to it before it’s my family.”

She also said she never imagined in 2014 she would be dealing with such hate.

“My father was a black panther,” she said. “It scares me that, at 22, I’m dealing with the same things he dealt with in the ‘60s…Cops are protecting cops. There’s no justice.”

Photo Credit: Tamar Auber (Protesters in Union Square)

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.