In 90 cities around the country last night, demonstrators marched in what was dubbed National Moment of Silence 2014 to honor Mike Brown, the teenager killed in Missouri by police last week, as well as other victims of police brutality. The marches were organized online in just four days by Feminista Jones, a writer and activist from the Bronx with a massive Twitter following. In New York, marchers massed in Bed-Stuy, Harlem and hundreds in Union Square; some of the Manhattan protesters made their way up to Times Square, where five men were eventually arrested during what both police and protesters alike called an otherwise fairly peaceful night.
In New York, as in other cities, marchers with their arms raised chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
— Million Hoodies (@MillionHoodies) August 14, 2014
— EverythingNYC (@EverythingNYC) August 15, 2014
One particular image of the protest in Times Square spread rapidly across Twitter and Facebook:
— filistin!!!! (@bugrail) August 15, 2014
By about 9:30, the NYPD had “kettled” about 150 marchers in Times Square, surrounding and detaining them by using orange plastic netting. You can watch for yourself, at a Livestream of the event that’s still available this morning courtesy of a prolific livestreamer who goes by James From the Internet:
— Nastaran (@NasMohit) August 15, 2014
— djvjgrrl (@djvjgrrl) August 15, 2014
The demonstrators were told to leave or they’d be arrested; as the NYPD began to let them out in small groups, five were arrested anyway, on what NBC describes as “a variety of misdemeanor charges.” Only one, Jason J. Woody, has been identified so far this morning. (On his livestream, James From the Internet could be heard saying, wryly, “Jason never does anything wrong, but he always gets arrested… He’s just a large black man.”)
By 11 p.m., the demonstrators were gone from Times Square; all that was left was a long row of NYPD squad cars and clusters of police officers on every corner of 42nd street from 6th to 9th Avenue.
Jones, the organizer of the marches, asked on Twitter this morning that people focus not on the arrests, but on the spirit of the event. She also made it clear that, despite a few erroneous media reports to the contrary, Anonymous wasn’t in any way responsible for the march.
Yeah, Anon tried it, but that’s what they do. There were arrests in NYC, but that’s what NYPD does.
The rest was love and peace and focus
— #NMOS14 (@FeministaJones) August 15, 2014