THOUSANDS of protesters walked through parts of New York and Washington yesterday, stepping up demonstrations across the US demanding justice for black men killed by white police.
The rallies in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, and several Californian cities were among the largest in a growing protest movement sparked by the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9.
Demonstrators shut down parts of Manhattan and Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue with cries of “No justice, no peace!”, “Justice Now!” and “The whole damn system is guilty as hell!”.
The mixed crowds of black and white mobilised many young people but also young families, parents and the elderly.
The Garner and Brown families were joined in Washington by relatives of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot dead last month by Cleveland police, and of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Florida by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in 2012.
Garner’s widow and wife took to the stage before the energized crowd. “I am here not only marching for Eric Garner, but for everyone’s daughters and sons and nieces and nephews and dads and moms,” Esaw Garner said.
Garner’s mother Gwen Carr said the protests would continue until congress responded to demands for reform.
National Action Network president Al Sharpton led the protest march in Washington.
Organizers called for congress to “pass a national profiling act” and Reverend Sharpton called for sweeping justice reform.
“You thought it would be kept quiet. You thought you’d sweep it under the rug. You thought there would be no limelight. But we’re going to keep the light on Michael Brown, on Eric Garner, on Tamir Rice, on all of these victims,” said Sharpton.