Three weeks since protests began in New York City after the death of George Floyd, thousands of people marched through the city on Thursday evening, saying police reforms in New York haven't gone far enough.
“It’s like giving us crumbs,” one marcher said on the 22nd day of protests in the city. “We don’t want crumbs. We don’t want your crumbs.”
Protesters in Manhattan made their way from Union Square through Chelsea, demanding the defunding of police in the new city budget.
One organizer says the budget is more than numbers on a page.
“That budget is a values document,” she said. “It’s a reflection of what we value as a society. What the city budget is saying right now is that we’re ok with cuts to education, we’re ok with cuts to public hospitals, we’re ok with cuts to housing, all the things that we need to have a just society for the people. But they’re ok continuing to fund a highly militarized police force.”
Another group of protesters gathered first in Washington Square Park, their regular rallying spot for more than three weeks.
They made their way to the Holland Tunnel, where they attempted to block traffic for about half an hour. One of the protest organizers told NY1’s Shannan Ferry they have a very real reason for choosing that spot.
“By us stopping traffic right there at that intersection, we’re having the city lose money,“ he said. “They’re robbing us, so we’re gonna take what we need and what we deserve from them. But while we’re doing that, we’re gonna educate those within the crowd about what we’re demanding, like defunding the Department of Corrections and defunding the police, all the parts of systematic racism in the entire country.”
This particular group of marchers took the day off Wednesday for what they called “self care" before returning.
One protester, who has marched nearly every day, says it’s important to just keep going.
“There’s a lot of money that goes into unfair policing, actually,” he said, “money that could be going for health care, education, things like that. So, there’s a long way to go before it’s reformed.
Another rally went through Brooklyn. A group of high school students and their teachers gathered outside what is thought to be the home of Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
The protest started in Prospect Park and made its way through the borough to Flatbush.
They were protesting the presence of NYPD school safety officers. The protesters say school safety officers are not there to protect students, and that they want the money spent on them to be spent instead on staffing and school supplies.
A massive protest is planned for Friday to commemorate “Juneteenth,” which celebrates the end of slavery in the United States.