Protests spread far beyond Ferguson

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Cops in riot gear in Ferguson, MO following the Grand Jury decision

By Jessica Ravitz and John Blake


(CNN) — Screams of outrage. Crowds marching down streets, blocking intersections. Fists raised in silence.

As the Ferguson grand jury’s decision was announced Monday night, protesters around the country — who had begun to gather hours earlier — responded in solidarity.

In New York, a roving crowd wound its way through the city, surging to more than 1,000 in Times Square before heading toward the Upper West Side, CNN’s Miguel Marquez tweeted.

Earlier in the evening, about 200 people flocked to Union Square, brandishing signs that read, “Jail killer cops,” and a large display, in lights: “Black lives matter.”

Protesters knocked down barricades and headed toward the West Village before turning north, accompanied by police.

Emotions boiled over in Philadelphia, too.

“Shouts of “f— the police” at word of no indictment,” a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter tweeted. “A man with the mic: ‘we don’t need to get mad.’ Others: ‘yes we do!'”

In Oakland, California, shop owners posted signs in their windows, “We support Michael Brown,” as marchers took to the streets.

A crowd filled the intersection at 14th and Broadway, and some demonstrators laid their bodies down in chalk outlines, reports on social media showed.

Similar scenes of a “die-in” were staged in downtown Seattle.

“Same story every time, being black is not a crime,” protesters shouted, according to a report from CNN affiliate KIRO.

In Washington, D.C., a large crowd assembled outside the White House, with some protesters lying down on Pennsylvania Avenue. In Los Angeles, a city still scarred by the riots of 1992, the police department was put on “tactical alert.”

A group also assembled in front of the Colorado Capitol in Denver calling for nonviolence, according to CNN affliate KMGH.

The Chicago Tribune reported that some 200 protesters gathered outside the city’s police headquarters, chanting “We are Mike Brown!” and “I am Mike Brown!” They also carried signs, the paper reported, bearing phrases like “Won’t stop ’til we get justice,” “Killer pigs must pay,” and “Stop the racist killer cops.”

Later they marched through downtown before stopping at the State of Illinois Center, where they chanted into bullhorns. Chicago police scrambled to keep up.

Protests around the country appeared to be largely peaceful, compared to the scenes unfolding in Ferguson. There, demonstrators set police vehicles ablaze and officers fired canisters into the crowds.

In Atlanta, birthplace of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the streets appeared largely quiet. But at Morehouse College, where about 200 students gathered to hear the grand jury’s decision, a collective gasp rippled through the crowd.

Some of the students at the historically black men’s school looked at one another in disbelief, others started to tear up, and a few stared ahead as their jaws dropped.

Police sirens wailed in the distance as the students chanted: “Ferguson’s hell is America’s hell.”

Kevin Harvey, a senior dressed in a blue blazer, button-down shirt and penny loafers, walked away from the demonstration with his head down. He said he was angry and bewildered by a storyline that’s become all too familiar.

“I’m afraid to raise my son in this country,” he said. “When I do have a family, I’m afraid to raise him in this country and that’s a terrible thought. Because I know that he is not valued.”

When asked his reaction to the verdict, Harvey tried to sort through his emotions.

“Confusion, anger, and generally just being upset,” he said. “I’m scared and frustrated.”

Long before the grand jury decision was shared, announcing that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the nation held its collective breath.

As the sun set back East, people rose up — hours before the decision was announced after 9 p.m. EST.

More than 120 vigils and gatherings, both immediate and for Tuesday, were organized in cities large and small. From Toledo, Ohio, and Bangor, Maine, to Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Detroit, details have been shared on the Ferguson National Response Network.

CNN’s Miguel Marquez and Bill Kirkos contributed to this report.

™ & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


  • miles (dave)

    i have stayed plugged into this story a little bit through its progression but to be honest i get the facts confused with all the other shootings that went on as well. after hearing this story it seams like a lot of people feel very passionate about the situation. it was when i found how passionate that many people felt about he situation that i started to ask my self the question should i reconsider how important is this story to me.

    in my opinion i should form my opinions about this or any subject based on known and known unknown factors about the case. im thinking its unlikely ill find a news station that will give a unbiased version of the story. so i went to wikipida under “Shooting of Michael Brown” i just barely scratched the surface with all the information there, i read the first heading paragraphs for the story and barely skimmed the rest so far. i have already started to peace together the vision of what happened based on some of the known things, i also dont think ill find a better unbiased place for the facts.

    also i have a concern that most people are making there decisions about this case based on emotion (yes i know people are more emotional creatures than logical) and i cant help but think its important to get the facts straight (i mean straight facts = better chance to be right. right?)

    my point in telling you all this, if your looking to get educated about what happened so you can make any needed coarse corrections about your opinions about this case id definitely recommend going to the wiki for it.

    also dose anyone else have a better source for the facts its just not reasonable for me to travel to Ferguson to do my own journalism.

  • bob

    Now that the decision is made the REAL evidence and eyewitness testimony is public. Wilson was fighting for his life. Brown was not “shot in the back”, or “executed while he was on the ground.”

    Combine that with what we now know about Michael Brown. His own rap “lyrics” paint a picture of a ferociously angry racist, misogynist, drug-abusing thug with fantasies of killing white people.

    Not that the facts will change anyone’s mind. It’s just nice to see that the rioters really ARE just…..rioters.

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