NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A number of peaceful protests took place across New York on Saturday, from Forest Hills, Queens, to the Brooklyn Bridge, and from Harlem to Lower Manhattan.
Thousands and thousands of people protested in solidarity over police brutality and the death of George Floyd for the tenth straight day.
#TheTakeBack: Thousands of protesters marching from 110th & Central Park West in #Harlem. They started gathering near Frederick Douglass Circle and are walking close to 8 miles to #WashingtonSquarePark. Many are wearing face coverings and chanting #BlackLivesMattters @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/QBa2gdZiL0
— Cory James (@CoryJamesTV) June 6, 2020
Protesters gathered on the streets and under trees along Central Park West in Harlem.
“I just pray that it doesn’t stop after this week,” one protester told CBS2’s Cory James.
“We’re here today to do our part because someone at some time risked their lives for us,” another protester said.
The demonstration, called #TheTakeBack Rally to Reclaim Stolen Lives and Looted Dreams, brought thousands out.
UPDATE: Here’s a look at the front of the #TheTakeBack demonstration that started in #Harlem. Protesters made it to 86th Street & Central Park West on the #upperwestside. They have about 80 blocks to go before making it to #WashingtonSquarePark. @CBSNewYork #BLM #protests pic.twitter.com/zt7qZHh1NQ
— Cory James (@CoryJamesTV) June 6, 2020
In the heat, they walked over seven miles to Greenwich Village.
“There’s not one mother of a brown or black son that doesn’t wonder how many years they have left,” one woman said.
“We’re living in a time where this generation has stepped up and enough is enough,” one man said.
Carmen Perez organized the event.
She says the huge turnout is a reminder the work isn’t over.
“Although they arrested the four officers for the killing of George Floyd, there are many officers that still need to be held accountable here in the city of New York,” Perez said.
Perez came up with five demands. They include redirecting funds to black communities in New York City, passing anti-chokehold legislation in the state and ending the police secrecy law known as 50-A.
— Ali Bauman (@AliBaumanTV) June 6, 2020
New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson tells CBS2 elected officials are working on changes.
“We’re having a hearing on Tuesday on nine police accountability bills in the council so that’s one step,” Johnson said.
By 2 o’clock, the protesters took their final steps, arriving under the arch at Washington Square Park to a crowd of people cheering them on.
Through the rain, they continued rallying, not forgetting the names or faces of the people who brought them here.
“Change better be coming. It really, really better be coming. If this doesn’t do it, what kind of a country are we?” one woman said.
There were a number of different protests all over Manhattan on Saturday, from Central Park to Lower Manhattan, and some continued as night fell and the curfew kicked in.
Some protesters took over the FDR Drive, and more than an hour after curfew, one large group marched through Foley Square, chanting, “Peaceful protest!”
Watch Christina Fan’s report —
In Brooklyn, protesters marched from the Brooklyn Bridge to Grand Army Plaza, down Flatbush Avenue to the Barclays Center.
Their bodies feel haggard, but their voices are strong as ever.
“This is a movement and there’s going to be no change unless we all take part in it, every single day,” one protester told CBS2’s Christina Fan.
Protesters have kept their promise, only stopping for the occasion moment of silence or in the case of Richard Hayes, to light a candle for all those who have died at the hands of police brutality.
“Just get along. You all don’t have to kill black people,” Hayes said.
In addition to expressing their anger, the marches are become of forum for protesters to share personal experiences and changes they’d like to see implemented not just by police, but by the justice system.
“I’m looking over my shoulder for people that should be protecting me, you know? And these are things that have gone on for years,” one protester said.
“I believe that I am standing up for something that I believe in and I’ll do whatever it takes,” another protester said.
Protesters say that includes staying pass curfew and taking it upon themselves to make sure their message doesn’t get overshadowed by outside agitators.
“I’ve seen people in the crowd telling people, ‘Don’t do that, this is not the time for that.’ And I just want to get that out there. People have just been keeping this peaceful,” one man said.
Reports of any arrests made Saturday were not immediately available.