[PHOTOS] Ferguson Verdict: The NYC Response
I couldn't sleep the nights that followed the shooting of Mike Brown. From watching the VICE live stream to seeing the live from Ferguson twitter feed from my Global Grind colleagues. Last night was no different. My advertising class was dismissed at 9:15 pm. By then I already had texts from my friends asking me if I watched the verdict. I turned to social media to listen to the painful truth that is the #FergusonVerdict while I headed to my Washington Heights home. By the time midnight came around I couldn't stay at the bar where I was any longer. I couldn't just keep watching my timeline. I wanted to be there in the streets with New Yorkers who too feel that our system is total bullshit, and I did just that.
I made my way to the RFK Bridge on 125th where people rallied together. By the time 1:00 am came around more people had crossed the bridge to join our crowd. We marched down 2nd Avenue and made our way to Museum Mile. Cops walked beside us in fear that we would hurt someone, and undercover cars drove parallel to 5th Avenue. We walked the streets without the fear of any cars coming our way and forced coming traffic to turn left or turn right when they made it near us. Whenever we came to a stop light we locked up, spread out and held hands.
"Wake Them Up".
"We Are Mike Brown"
"NYPD KKK, how many kids did you kill today?"
No Justice, No Peace.
These are just a few of the chants that kept us going. A few guys were on their skateboards and a few others marched with us on their bicycles. Overnight doormen and stock workers stepped out of their buildings to see what was happening. A few truck drivers honked their horn when they came across our crowd. We screamed and clapped every time we heard that honk of approval. 3:00 am, we took a 5 min break on 63rd and Madison. We sat on the ground floor of the streets. Again, claiming the night as our night where we did what we wanted peacefully. 4:00 came around and we finally made it to Times Square where Good Morning America was setting up. "90 mins before we go live" said one of their production crew members. "I need to tap out" whispered my mind.
Although we all know that our protest won't resolve anything, it felt great just to be there next to other people who feel the same way about the country that we live in. Last night I supported and received the support from hundreds of courageous strangers. We simply had a flame within us that we couldn't hold in. Things may never be fair, but to us BLACK LIVES MATTER. Protect yourself.