The killing of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore Police Department sent shockwaves through communities across the country, but none harder than in Baltimore where both protests and riots erupted. In solidarity, protestors gathered and marched in NYC on April 29, 2015. The show of resistance and civil disobedience wreaked havoc on NYC’s roadways and sidewalks. The march was a peaceful yet very vocal protest. Even in peace, NYPD took to hard tactics and arrested over 100 protestors for expressing their Freedom of Speech.
At the time of publishing the final number of protestors is unknown. I would put the count in the range of 300-500. Police succeeded in splintering the protestors into groups, weakening their critical mass, however, it also spread protestors both East and West… causing gridlock downtown and uptown.
The protests were a show of civil disobedience (Tactics that proved effective during the Civil Rights Era but with a sharper-edged millennial touch) and remained non-violent in a show of resistance. The group I marched with and observed ended their evening-long protest at Grand Central Station, a public space with excellent acoustics.
All eyes were watching, some approved while others, as you can imagine on their commute home, could care less. Disapprovingly, a few shouts of “get a job” had followed along the protest march and in the Main Concourse. Sharp tongue responses from protestors, letting the MTA worker who spouted his descent from our Freedom of Speech “I just came from work!”, “I have a fucking Masters Degree, and work in a Diplomatic Office… You start at $25,000… I have a job!” There seemed to be multiple leaders of different groups, even amongst the remaining 50 or so protestors.
There seemed to be multiple leaders of different groups, even amongst the remaining 50 or so protestors. After a moment of silence, and a show of will to power, one particular gentleman led a rousing and spirited rendition of Redemption Song captured in this video.