Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 14th 2014 Contents • Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014
Thousands of people have
marched through the US capital,
Washington DC, to protest against
the recent killings of unarmed black
people by police.
Relatives of Michael Brown, shot
dead in the Missouri town of Fer-
guson, and Eric Garner, who died
being restrained in New York, were
Both died after encountering
police, but grand juries decided not
to bring charges, sparking anger and
A demonstration in New York also
drew thousands despite chilly weath-
er.Speakers at the Capitol called for
changes to US legislation.
Lesley McSpadden, mother of
Michael Brown, told the crowd:
"What a sea of people. If they don t
see this and make a change, then I
don t know what we got to do.
Thank you for having my back."
The mood in the US capital was
described as calm but defiant, with
a large number of police on stand-
by.Earlier in the day, a small group
of protesters from Missouri disrupted
the schedule by taking to the stage
at the starting-point, on Freedom
Plaza, and blowing a bullhorn.
They complained that the protest,
which was organised by long-estab-
lished civil rights groups, was staid
The brisk winter weather did not
deter the protesters. Their aim---to
stop what they say are the unlawful
killings of black men, at the hands
of the police.
The majority of people I spoke to
said it was the case of Eric Garner,
who died after being held in a choke-
hold by police in New York, which
had motivated them to take to the
streets, many for the first time. That
case, as well as the fatal shooting of
the unarmed black teenager Michael
Brown in Ferguson, has galvanised
calls for change.
People say they will continue to
protest until they get justice. They
key question is what does that justice
look like? For some that means
changing legislation and the grand
jury system, or giving police body
cameras. But the bigger challenge is
Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead
on August 9, during an altercation
with a white police officer in Fer-
Garner, 43, died while being held
down by a white police officer on
He had been challenged over the
alleged sale of loose cigarettes on a
street in Staten Island, New York.
The event was caught on camera
and his dying plea of "I can t
breathe," has become a slogan of the
protesters. It echoes the adoption of
"Hands up! Don t Shoot!" a Fergu-
son refrain alleging that Brown was
surrendering to police when the fatal
shots were fired.
Relatives of three other black peo-
ple killed in controversial shootings
were also expected to attend the
march, according to the National
• Akai Gurley, 28, was shot dead
by New York police on November
20• Tamir Rice, 12, was shot dead
in a Cleveland, Ohio, park on
November 22, while carrying a pellet
• Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot
dead on February 26, 2012, by a
neighbourhood watch volunteer in
Marchers crowded Pennsylvania
Avenue for the walk from Freedom
Plaza to the Capitol, but the actual
numbers were not immediately clear.
Some in the crowd, which was
made up of both black and white
people, held banners saying: "Stop
racist police," "I can t breathe," and
"President Obama seize this
moment. The ancestors are watch-
Speaking at the Capitol, Garner s
mother, Gwen Carr, called the march
a "history-making moment."
"It s just so overwhelming to see
all who have come to stand with us
today," she said.
"I mean, look at the masses. Black,
white, all races, all religions... We
need to stand like this at all times."
New York march co-organiser
Umaara Elliott urged "action... at
every level of government to ensure
that these racist killings by the police
Civil rights protest in US capital
Demonstrators march in New York, yesterday, during
the Justice for All rally and march.
In the past three weeks, grand juries have decided not
to indict officers in the chokehold death of Eric Garner
in New York, and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown
The decisions have unleashed demonstrations and
questions about police conduct and whether local
prosecutors are the best choice for investigating
police. AP PHOTOS
Angela Kirkland leads the chant on the steps of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, yesterday.
Links Archive December 13th 2014 December 15th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page