Invoking the names of Michael Brown, Ramarley Graham, Amadou Diallo, and others who have been killed by law enforcement, a group of protesters defied police orders and marched in to Times Square Wednesday afternoon. The protest, organized by a group known as the October 22ndCoalition, called for an end to police brutality and mass incarceration and the arrest of Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson.
Previously, the New York Police Department (NYPD) instructed the protesters not to enter Times Square because the area had too much traffic. But as NYPD officers attempted to direct the protesters away from the popular tourist destination, the group, which included hundreds holding signs, waving flags, and blowing whistles, moved forward and settled in front of the NYPD’s Times Square precinct, halting traffic on 43rd St. for around 20 minutes before making their way to Duffy Square.
“We have gathered here, right under the f*cking Jumbotron, right in front of the eyes of the law, and we’re saying, ‘No more police murder, no more treating our children like criminals,’” shouted the group, in call and response with march organizers.
And the protest was hardly a spontaneous act.
“The police department has told us that for traffic and safety concerns we cannot march in to Time Square,” Dix told NewsOne before the event began. “I say to that, what about the safety of Eric Garner? What about the safety of Ramarley Graham? What about the safety of Sean Bell? What about the safety of all the other people whose lives were stolen by the NYPD? For that reason we must march in to Time Square and deliver a message that this must stop…and we will see how the police respond to that.”