Protesters are crowding the streets this afternoon, demanding a meeting with the President-elect — all of this, just days before the nation celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. NY1's Erin Clarke joins us live from outside Trump Tower with more on the demonstration.
In coordinated marches from all five boroughs, Black Lives Matter protesters began a trek in honor of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
"This march is really about solidarity on Martin Luther King's birthday and also on the eve of Trump's inauguration and it's really about getting awareness up about our cause," said protester Antoinette Briguglio.
Their destination was Trump Tower, where protestors called on the President-elect to meet them face-to-face.
"The reason we're marching from all five boroughs today is to honor the dream of Martin Luther King and to demand that Donald Trump be accountable for the promises he made in our community," said Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter New York.
Among the participants — young people — high school and college students who stand beside parents, teachers and other adults supporting a movement they say hits home.
"It affects me because as a black young male, I have to look after myself each day as I'm getting older I might get targeted in the future so I just need by doing this march I feel hope that other people can get the message out there," said 14-year-old Savion Foreshaw.
Hawk Newsome, the president of Black Lives Matter New York, says it is important that young people take a stand and realize their power to make change.
His group is organizing the Black Lives Caucus, a movement they say to restore the black vote.
"All major revolutions have been led by youth," Newsome said. "It's very important that these young people learn how to fight now while they're in high school. Some of these kids might be Black Lives Caucus representatives in the future. They might be people that will run for office."
Even if these protesters meet with the President-elect, their mission is far from complete.
They say their focus is to effect change in government from the bottom up.
"Voting does matter," said Mario Banabe, a math teacher at South Bronx Community High School. "Some folks believe that on a federal level it doesn't, but on a local level it does. City Council and local politics determine the resources that we need for our community."
And the Black Lives Matter New York group says it has its eyes set on at least five City Council races, some in which its members may run for seats. The president of the group also says he believes Black Lives Matter New York can have a significant impact on the upcoming mayoral election.