Dear Commons Community,
In the wake of the Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer responsible for the death of Eric Garner, protests and demonstrations were held in major cities across the United States. As reported in The Huffington Post and other media:
Atlanta, where demonstrators gathered in downtown Atlanta, roughly 100 turning out near the Five Points MARTA train station.
Chicago, where hundreds blocked Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan. Protesters were thwarted in their efforts to march to Soldier Field, where a Bears-Cowboys football game was scheduled. They reversed course and at the city’s Dan Ryan Expressway, about two dozen demonstrators darted onto the road and briefly blocked five lanes.
Detroit, where protesters lay down on the ground for a “die-in” at the city’s Campus Martius at midday as temperatures hovered around freezing.
Denver, where students from at least four high schools joined in protest. Students from Abraham Lincoln High School left class and walked about 6 miles to the Capitol, snarling traffic. Buses were sent to pick up the students after the protest.
Minneapolis, where demonstrators decrying police treatment of minorities stopped traffic for several hours on Interstate 35W near downtown before rallying at City Hall. Some protesters were fast-food workers demanding higher wages and union rights.
And Thursday in Boston, several thousand rallied peacefully although some blocked city streets while marching to Boston Common, where the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony was underway. Demonstrators toted signs saying “Justice for All” and “Black Lives Matter” as they chanted. They later gathered outside the Statehouse. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he too was frustrated and discouraged by the grand jury’s decision.
A second night of protests in New York City brought out thousands Thursday. They gathered in downtown Manhattan’s Foley Square and chanted “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace” before marching across the Brooklyn Bridge, carrying replicas of coffins. Another group started in Harlem. The marchers also disrupted traffic near the Holland Tunnel, the Manhattan Bridge and on the Westside Highway.”
These demonstrations will continue for days to come and hopefully will remain peaceful. The police have shown restraint in not inciting any incidents.