For the 14th straight day, protesters have taken to the streets of New York City, on foot and on bikes, demonstrating for justice for George Floyd and other victims of police violence. But they say the movement has taken on a whole new meaning.
Thousands of protesters who gathered in Highland Park in East New York, Brooklyn are still on the march tonight, making their way to the Barclays Center.
They were met in Williamsburg by a group of cyclists who started their protest in Prospect Heights.
Marchers told NY1’s Ruschell Boone they are there to take a stand against racism and oppression and to support police reforms.
“We’re talking about defunding the police and bringing back education,” one protester said. “It’s a political movement. We have to have the right person in power who knows the ins and outs and can lead us.”
One man who carried a sign that read “Jews for Black Lives” said this is his eighth night marching.
“I want to make sure my black brothers and sisters know the Jewish community is with them,” he said. “We came from slavery to freedom, and we believe we’re all created in the image of God, and we all have the right to justice and freedom."
Earlier Wednesday a massive crowd assembled at Washington Square Park, a regular rallying point for the protests. They then made their way up Fifth Avenue, pausing every so often to take a knee.
As they walked past shops both large and small, still boarded up after last week’s looting, organizers stressed that these demonstrations must be peaceful, so that no one loses sight of what they’re fighting for.
"These young people organized these protests with zero damage to the city. But they are raising their voices," one person at the demonstration told NY1.
While they are gratified by the changes the city is making to policing, like the channeling of some funds from the NYPD to socially based programs, they are a long way from celebrating.
Despite the heat and humidity of an early New York City summer, they say they intend to keep going.
“The protests are important,” she said. “The history is important. I’d like to go into a store without being followed. I’d like to sleep peacefully when my son goes out at night.”
In The Bronx, Justice for George NYC held a "prayerful vigil" at the Fordham Manor Church.
Outside the courthouse in Downtown Brooklyn, protesters demanded the firing of a court officer, Terry Napolitano, over an alleged disturbing Facebook post showing President Barack Obama being lynched. It’s one reason why protesters say the marches are a long way from over.