Hundreds of protesters came together on Sunday, marching from Times Square to Union Square in the wake of police-related shootings across America.
Holding signs, like “Silence is Violence,” and “It’s not about taking sides, it’s about reform,” and clad mostly in black or dark clothing, the group marched south on Broadway around noon. After about two hours, they sat down in Union Square park.
The demonstration, the fourth in the city in as many days, comes on the heels of the police shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the attack on police in Dallas that killed five officers and injured several more.
The protest Sunday was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, but was not officially affiliated with the group.
The tone and mood over the course of the day fluctuated between anger and frustration and resolve and looking forward, said Faizah Sharif, 32, of South Jamaica, who helped to spearhead Sunday’s march.
At one point demonstrators held up fists in solidarity as someone sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come.”
“We want zero arrests. If you’re here to [get arrested], you go somewhere else,” said Kimi Adamson, a co-organizer. “Cops have been with us every step of the way, they’ve been apologetic and peaceful as well.
“All this madness is crazy,” she added. “Violence — we’re trying to stop that. It doesn’t mean fight violence with violence.”
Ditmas Park resident Daniel Loomis, 36, said the “sense of futility” was hard to deal with, but protesting was one thing he could do.
“Everything we’ve been seeing is not the America I want my children to grow up in,” said Loomis, who brought his two sons to the protest. “It’s gonna take everyone coming out to make that change.”
Kevin Rijo, 18, said he was “tired” of what has been happening in the country.
“I’m tired of seeing my brothers die,” said Rijo, 18, a student living in East New York. “It’s not about ‘all lives matter.’ It’s about what lives are on the line right now. Who’s next?”
A representative from the NYPD said arrest estimates were not immediately available, but one of the organizers of the protest said there hadn’t been any on Sunday.