People across the country have been protesting since Thursday to show solidarity with Minneapolis, Minnesota and to bring justice for George Floyd.
But protestors hope to bring about much more than that. They hope this time enough noise will be made to bring about real change. As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo aptly put it in his recent briefing:
“You are blind, or in denial, if you are still treating each one like a unique situation. We have an injustice in the criminal justice system, that is is abhorrent.” He continues, “You look back even in modern history and my lifetime. This started with Rodney King. Rodney King was 30 years ago. We suffered in this city through Abner Louima, and Amadou Diallo, and Sean Bell, and Eric Garner. How many times have we seen the same situation?”
Along with demanding justice for George Floyd, this is the question burning in the pits of all protestors this weekend, and the source of deep pain, anger and frustration that’s palpable at these rallies. “Yes the names change—but the color doesn’t,” Cuomo states.
Exacerbating current tensions, The New York Times reported earlier today that as of this morning “345 protestors had been arrested” across the five boroughs, and “47 police cars had been damaged or destroyed.”
While many of Saturday’s protests were peaceful, as the day progressed so did chaos and arrests. Protests began in Harlem in the early afternoon where thousands peacefully marched from 125th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr Boulevard down Madison and Park Avenues to Lower Manhattan. There were also marches and protests taking place in Jackson Heights in Queens, as well as parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx.
With more protests scheduled for today, and the coming days, Mayor Bill de Blasio is asking that demonstrators and the NYPD both remain peaceful and to not show violence toward each other while protesting. He’s also said he will not be issuing a curfew in NYC, as many cities across the country are.
So far, 75 cities in the U.S. have protested this weekend and people globally are showing support and solidarity. There have been protests at the American embassy in Berlin, a march in Toronto, and thousands reportedly gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to demand justice for George Floyd and support the fight against injustice within our criminal justice systems.
Images from Saturday’s Manhattan protest:
Also published on Medium.