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JUNETEENTH: Rallies bring thousands of marchers to NYC seeking justice for all

Marchers on Juneteenth along the Lower East Side on June 19, 2020. (Photo by Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech)

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH AND ROBERT POZARYCKI

Thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets again Friday to seek greater equality for every American during events commemorating Juneteenth.

The holiday marks the emancipation of the last slaves in America in Texas on this date in 1865. The commemoration gained importance in recent weeks during the protests following the police-involved death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd

Friday afternoon, marchers began outside City Hall where they repeated calls upon Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council to “defund” the NYPD by as much as a billion dollars — if not, completely.

The December 12th Movement began the Juneteenth march at City Hall on June 19, 2020. (Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech)

Sharma Lewis, 26, traveled from the Bronx to match in today’s Juneteenth ’Defund the police’ rally at City Hall. She compared the bad apples in the city’s police force to a tumor.

“And like a tumor you have to cut all the supplies that run blood to it,” she said.

Sharma Lewis, 26, traveled from the Bronx to match in today’s Juneteenth ’Defund the police’ rally at City Hall. (Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech)

The march also included a caravan of dozens of vehicles that furthered the message for change.

From City Hall, those marching on foot headed along Broadway toward Foley Square and the Tweed Courthouse.

Roughly 1,000 protesters take a knee for a moment of silence at Lafayette and Worth St. A stone’s throw away from Manhattan courthouses. (Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech)

At one point, some of the marchers called on de Blasio to resign over his handling of the NYPD.

The march continued to wind its way past the African Burial Ground National Monument, then back up along Thomas Street and toward Hudson Street. There, the mood took a more upbeat shift.

The march then headed north to The Village and the Lower East Side.

Police made their presence known during the march, but largely stood back and watched the crowds pass by.

More details on the march to come later.

 

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