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Protestors Take the Streets After Ferguson

In the wake of the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson for killing the 18 year-old, unarmed Michael Brown, protestors took to the streets in marches across the U.S.A.

But it’s important to remember that the protests weren’t just about Ferguson:

Every 28 hours, a black person is killed by law enforcement, a private security guard, or vigilante. Ferguson has served as a flash point for the ongoing pain of those most oppressed by discriminatory policing and mass incarceration in the nation. And coast to coast, protesters took the streets last night. Here’s a roundup of just some of the biggest protests last night. In Seattle, protestors staged “die-in”s at intersections:

In Oakland, protestors braved cars to block off highways:

In Los Angeles, protesters also braved the highways and shut down traffic:

In the nation’s capitol, protests began at the African American Civil War Memorial at U Street, then marched to the White House. Many activists spoke out (including Eugene Puryear), while others stood in silent vigil before the White House. Students from Howard, Georgetown and GW were present, many sporting sweatshirts of their schools. Some signs from the White House protest:

The protesters then took the streets again, marching to Chinatown, down H street, back to the Capitol:

After the Capitol, protesters marched to the Supreme Court, filling up the steps and chanted “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” over and over, a reference to Michael Brown’s last gesture and last words:

In Chicago, thousands took the streets:

In New York City, protestors shut down three separate bridges.

Also in New York City, protestors let Bill Bratton know what they think of him: that he’s got blood on his hands. Protestors threw fake blood on the NYPD commissioner, and Jeff Rae and Jenna Pope documented it on twitter.

If you’re unfamiliar, Bratton is the controversial police chief who oversaw the racially loaded “broken windows” approach in the 1990s, and who’s returned as police chief under Mayor Bill de Blasio. During Bratton’s second time as police chief, Staten Island father Eric Garner was killed by a police officer using an illegal choke hold, as they tried to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes, in a death ruled a homicide by the city’s medical examiner, and the 28-year old, unarmed Akai Gurley was killed by a rookie NYPD officer just last week.

The response to Ferguson does show a divide among black and white Americans:

But it’s important for white Americans to move past the initial defensiveness some feel (which may be due to their own social echo chambers), and understand what black America has known for a long time: that white people are not policed or targeted the way black and brown people are policed and incarcerated in this country. Some stressed this difference on twitter, noting the lack of an aggressive police response to the property destruction by whites following New Hampshire’s pumpkin festival:

In addition to the discriminatory policing that’s all too common in the country, many unaffected Americans are all too eager to move on:

But the problem is not one that can be ignored. As one protester in Washington D.C. said last night, “We’ve been marching since the 60s. They’re still killing us.”

Want to join us in the streets? Response protests are being planned nationwide. Find one at

Written by Caitlyn McClure

Caitlyn is a rabble-rouser and writer based in Olympia, WA. She is a copywriter and logistics specialist for Tiny Pixel Collective, a web shop providing activists and artists with the tools they need to tell stories that inspire change.