Millions March NYC, December 13th, 2014

Yesterday was the Millions March in NYC. There were 45,000 RSVP’s on the Facebook page but you know how RSVP’s to events on Facebook usually go.

But they showed up. At least 30,000, if not closer to 40,000 showed up, to protest the unjust killings of unarmed civilians everywhere in the country. I met Ben down in Washington Square Park which was filled with thousands of people already and then we started marching near the front (the front being like, the first 300-ish people). We marched up Fifth Avenue to 14th street, up to 32nd Street, I believe, and then back down Broadway through Union Square, NYUville (the east village), through Soho and Chinatown, and finally to 1 Police Plaza. It was also the dreaded day of SantaCon. We were only in midtown briefly, and most of the Santa’s were supportive, some even gave up the crawl and marched, or ignored us all together. Along the way the police showed maximum restraint. I didn’t see one arrest. Thanks, De Blasio! 

Around 30th street, we stopped to use a restroom where I saw two drunk white Santa bros talking at a very calm black man about “how the police are just trying to help you” and how “could he protest against them.” The dude did nothing but listen, occasionally trying to get a word or two in. I got the last few seconds on camera here. I hope they fell off the Staten Island Ferry when they went home that night.

The pause in our marching took a good fifteen minutes as everywhere with bathrooms was packed (see, protests are good for the economy!) and I just watched swarms of people walk by. It was amazing to see. We quickly walked the ten or so blocks to catch up to the front after our break was done.

We made it down to 1 Police Plaza probably around 5:30pm. It was nuts. There was already a crowd of people there to greet us, lots of chanting, lots of news cameras, and, of course, lots of NYPD helicopters overhead (they were overhead the entire time – way to conserve gas, you idiots).

The march was supported by people on the sidewalks and up in windows. There was a woman in her window in the village who looked old enough to probably have been involved with the first Civil Rights Movement. She was clapping us along. It was really amazing to be apart of it. Hopefully it’s just the start. Photos below the cut!

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The [peaceful] insanity in Washington Square Park before the storm. This is a very, very small corner of the park. 

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The very beginning of the march heading up Fifth Avenue from Washington Square Park.

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New School students showing support at their Graduate Faculty building on 14th and 5th. 

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Turning the corner of 14th and 6th Avenue.

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A favorite of mine. So. true. (In Madison Square Park)

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I thought this dude was pretty awesome. (On 17th and Union Square West)

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Support in SoHo.

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The first few thousand at 1 Police Plaza with thousands more streaming in behind us.

It was a good day to try to restore democracy back to America.

On Wednesday night I had wanted to go to Foley Square to march with the protest for the non-indictment of the officer who killed an unarmed man, Eric Garner, in an illegal chokehold. But I had therapy (gotta take care of yourself mentally first before you’re of any good to anyone else). So I went to that first and then came home to watch the livecam of the march. I watched them walk from 52nd to the West Side Highway, get off at 72nd and march north.

I thought they’d be at my door soon after, so I went downstairs to walk, or at least support from the sidelines. But they never made it as high as my street because they were corralled at 105th and Broadway. The NYPD corralled them on both sides of Broadway, made a few arrests, and then walked the rest of them up to 113th between Amsterdam and Columbus, outside of St. Luke’s Hospital. 

I walked with an older gentleman, a lawyer who lives in the neighborhood but is from England, who was appalled at the force the police were using and off we went up Amsterdam. There were cops in riot gear everywhere along Amsterdam, and lots of cop buses, ready to make arrests. I asked one cop on the street where the other protesters were and he said quietly, “113th…" 

The long-time neighborhood residents couldn’t believe what was going on, why the NYPD were doing this to peaceful protesters, and the students of Columbia were out in full support of the protest. There was an NYPD helicopter flying overhead, flying REALLY low, using it’s light to scan the streets for more protesters. 

After about an hour (maybe half an hour?) of the protesters being corralled on 113th, they made an announcement (not that you could hear it – those police bullhorns are the WORST) that they were going to let them all go without arrest.

They then headed up to Harlem, or so I heard. 

Cops Arrest Dozens of Bros After Pumpkin Festival Devolves into Mayhem

I would like to hashtag this non-riot as #whitepeoplerioting. My brother goes to Keene and wasn’t involved in this at all (as who gives a fuck about protesting a pumpkin festival?), but if I’d been there, I would totally have been taking photos from the sidelines. But that’s me

But can we all just admit that this wasn’t really a riot? This is a party that got out of hand. In a tiny town, as the article states, where partying is a large activity on campus. When you add 10,000 other people and college students into the mix? I’m not sure what they expected to happen. 

Also: There were maybe 40 cops there, with paint balls as ammunition, not bullets. If Keene wasn’t blindingly white, somebody would’ve been shot (probably many somebodies) and things would’ve been a lot worse. They would’ve had actual bullets in their guns for starters. 

But they weren’t. I watched many videos of the “action” online today and it was just drunk bros in the street, knocking over the occasional street sign, and yelling. Oh, and some really douchey douches flipped over a car or two (and that sucks, yes, but sports fans have done the same thing in the past). And they lit some trash on fire. They didn’t light a house or a person on fire. 

I believe that this is just an example of what happens when you don’t teach your 18-year-old off-to-college offspring how to drink socially and not to excess. This is what happens when you demonize alcohol and then send your kid to a school that’s pretty into partying (that’s probably all schools, though) where there’s not a whole lot to do.

You end up with a White People “Riot” over pumpkins. 

Cops Arrest Dozens of Bros After Pumpkin Festival Devolves into Mayhem