On Monday night outside of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, protesters organized a “#RoyalShutdown” for Eric Garner and other victims of police violence. Visiting British royalty William and Kate met a crowd of demonstrators reacting to the recent non-indictment of officer Daniel Pantaleo from a Staten Island Grand Jury, and chanting Garner’s last words: “I can’t breathe!”
The organizers of the demonstration, Justice League NYC, an arm of Harry Belafonte’s social justice organization, The Gathering for Justice, called for a “die-in.” Using their bodies, instead of their voices, the crowd laid silently on the ground outside. Afterwards, thousands of people flooded and circled the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue, as well as the Atlantic Mall.
Inside the arena, as the Nets and the Cavaliers warmed up, players LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Deron Williams donned “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts in solidarity.
Daily demonstrations of dissent across the country since this summer’s Ferguson case have made it clear that racist and violent systems of policing will no longer be tolerated. The Justice League NYC is holding a press conference today at 4PM at City Hall in New York to present a petition and list of demands in support of an International Day of Action. The demonstration expected to follow is being described as a #GlobalShutdown. On Saturday, December 13, a coalition of activists in New York have organized the Millions March beginning in Washington Square Park at 2PM.
Images via The Nation, Twitter @dreamhampton