Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Washington on Saturday in the largest mobilization against police brutality and racial injustice this week – as protests across the country entered a 12th day. Military vehicles and officers in combat clothing closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic ahead of the planned march, which authorities
Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Washington on Saturday in the largest mobilization against police brutality and racial injustice this week – as protests across the country entered a 12th day.
Military vehicles and officers in combat clothing closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic ahead of the planned march, which authorities expected to attract between 200,000 and one million people.
Massive crowds were predicted to turn out in the nation’s capital, despite the risks still posed by the coronavirus, which ravaged the country over the past two months and still presents a deadly threat, according to health experts.
Official estimates on the total number of protesters have not been released, but attendance is believed to have been in the tens of thousands, far below the one million-person mark, but still a significant turnout.
President Trump, who ordered authorities to crack down on unrest, confirmed on Twitter that Saturday’s event was not as large as expected.
‘Much smaller crowd in D.C. than anticipated. National Guard, Secret Service, and D.C. Police have been doing a fantastic job. Thank you!’ he tweeted.
Protesters, wearing masks and calling for police reform, gathered in dozens of places from coast to coast, as well as major cities overseas including London, Paris, Berlin and Sydney, collectively producing perhaps the largest one-day mobilization since Floyd’s death.
WASHINGTON, DC: As night fell, thousands remained on the streets in nation’s capital, following the largest demonstration in the country on Saturday
WASHINGTON: Thousands of protesters remained on the streets of the nation’s capital at sunset following the largest demonstration over racial injustice and police brutality this week
Massive crowds were predicted to turn out in the nation’s capital, despite the risks still posed by the coronavirus
WASHINGTON: The protesters gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall and in many residential neighborhoods
WASHINGTON: Some turned intersections into dance floors. Tents offered snacks and water, tables with merchandise and even a snow cone station
WASHINGTON: Demonstrators greet National Guard soldiers and DEA police as they protest Saturday in Chinatown in Washington
WASHINGTON: Wearing masks and calling for police reform, protesters in the US and on four other continents peacefully marched for justice, collectively producing perhaps the largest one-day mobilization since Floyd’s death
The D.C. Police Traffic shared the above map on Saturday to show the streets within the White House perimeter which have been closed off. The area within the red lines as become a pedestrian-only area for demonstrators
The march coincided with a second memorial service in North Carolina for George Floyd, 46, who died on May 25 after a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The demonstrations capped a week of nearly constant protests that swelled beyond anything the nation has seen in at least a generation.
After periods of violence following the black man’s death, the crowds in the US shifted to a calmer tenor in recent days and authorities in many cities began lifting curfews because they experienced little unrest and no arrests.
On Saturday, authorities in some places seemed to take a lower profile and protests had a festive feel/
D.C. had braced itself with members of the National Guard guarding famous landmarks and patrolling a new pedestrian-only demonstration area where streets were closed off to all traffic.
The White House remained a fortress, with black fences between seven and nine feet high erected around its perimeter cutting off protesters.
The crowd erupted in applause as Mayor Muriel Bowser walked along the portion of 16th Street that she formally renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Thousands gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial and in residential neighborhoods.
Many groups headed toward the White House, where their chants and cheers could be heard in waves. President Donald Trump, who’s ordered authorities to crack down on unrest, had no public events on his daily schedule.
WASHINGTON, DC: Protester Sun Millard stands next to a Black Lives Matter sign on a traffic light post
WASHINGTON, DC: D.C. braced itself with members of the National Guard patrolling all areas of the capital as authorities expected crowds of up to one million people
WASHINGTON, DC: Thousands of protesters stretch for more than five blocks, from Scott Circle NW to H Street NW
WASHINGTON, DC: Thousands of protesters streamed into the nation´s capital and other major cities Saturday in another huge mobilization against police brutality
WASHINGTON, DC: Many of the loosely organized groups were moving toward the White House, where President Donald Trump was spending the day with no public events
WASHINGTON, DC: Activists and protesters gathered at the Capitol, on the National Mall and in many residential neighborhoods. Above, protester Mike D’ Angelo (left) stands on top of street sign that has been renamed ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’
WASHINGTON, DC: Demonstrators walk in front of the Washington Monument near the White House
WASHINGTON, DC: Washington has seen daily protests for the past week – largely peaceful. Above, thousands gathered at Freedom Plaza near 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW
A moving throng of people marched past the George Washington University Hospital chanting ‘Hands up, Don’t shoot!’ ‘We March for hope, not for hate,’ and ‘I can’t breathe!’
Some turned intersections into dance floors. Tents offered snacks and water, tables with merchandise and even a snow cone station.
As of just after midday, at least 6,000 had already gathered in Washington D.C., split between The Lincoln Memorial and those close to the White House.
D.C. Chief of Police Peter Newsham said the event ‘may be one of the largest that we’ve had in the city’ but would not commit to a number. He added that no arrests were made from protests since Tuesday and he hoped the streak would continue.’
As day broke on Saturday, police closed down much of downtown D.C. to traffic and a pedestrian-only demonstration area was created between the southern boundary of the Mall and L Street NW to the north.
The city’s metro system also announced it was reopening cars closed due to coronavirus to boost rider capacity.
All of the protesters wore masks or face coverings as the risk of coronavirus spread continues.
USA Today reporter Rebecca Morin described the atmosphere as the main demonstrations kicked off around midday as a block party feel as people sang and danced before beginning a march on the White House at 12pm.
WASHINGTON, DC: Pilomena Wankenge of the DC Freedom Fighters waves an American flag to a crowd gathered at the John A. Wilson Building
WASHINGTON, DC: Demonstrators heading to the White House are seen in front of the Brevet Lt. General Winfield Scott statue
WASHINGTON, DC: A man waves an upside-down American flag defaced with the letters ‘BLM’ at the ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’, near the White House
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Troops surrounded a barricaded White House on Saturday as Washington D.C. prepared for the largest George Floyd protest yet. Protesters remain fenced off from the streets up to the White House by fence
NEW YORK CITY:
In New York City, a number of protested took place in each of the different boroughs.
In Manhattan, healthcare workers joined in with the demonstrators holding signs like ‘Nurses Stand With You’ and ‘Doctors Stand With You’.
The protest was organized by Frontline4Change and medical staff were seen taking a knee, many dressed in their scrubs.
Further north in Harlem, thousands of protesters marching from 110th street and Central Park West after gathering near Frederick Douglass Circle.
The group planned to walk close to eight miles to gather with other protesters in Washington Square Park later in the day.
In Brooklyn, thousands more took to the streets for another day as they marched along Flatbush Avenue.
Further east in Bethpage, Long Island, a smaller protest lined the streets to wave signs at cars as they passed.
At least 200 gathered by the train station to register voters and hand out hand sanitizer.
NEW YORK CITY: Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd continued in New York City on Saturday as the city continued to enforce an 8 p.m. curfew that has created tensions between protesters and police
NEW YORK CITY:
NEW YORK CITY: Healthcare workers with Frontline4Change protest alongside members of the public in Manhattan on Saturday holding signs reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Nurses Stand With You’
NEW YORK CITY: Activists move along W. 34th Street, Saturday, June 6, 2020, in New York. Protests continued following the death of George Floyd who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK CITY: Protesters and activists walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, Saturday, June 6
NEW YORK CITY:
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Activists move along 7th Avenue as they walked for miles in a peaceful protest
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Washington Square Park was packed with thousands of protesters on Saturday
BETHPAGE, NEW YORK: A group of counter-demonstrators lined Stewart Avenue one block away from the demonstrators of the Black Lives Matter movement in Bethpage. They carried ‘All Lives Matter’ signs and wore MAGA hats
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told Newsday that they have made no arrests for the duration of the protests but officers still stood on guard.
A handful of counter protesters opposed them also carrying signs that read ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘We Stand for The Flag and We Kneel for God’. The group said that they were out to show their support for law enforcement.
One of the counter protesters also wore a Trump Make America Great Again hat.
Thousands of people crossed the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan, where other groups numbering in the hundreds to thousands marched or gathered in places like Foley Square, home to state and federal court buildings, and Washington Square Park, in Greenwich Village.
Further uptown, police had erected barriers to all but close off Times Square to vehicle and foot traffic.
As the curfew passed, a large group of protesters walked onto the FDR Drive, the main north-south artery along Manhattan’s east side, closely monitored by police, forcing police to temporarily shut down one side of the roadway.
In Philadelphia, demonstrators gathered on the steps of Philadelphia Art Museum steps chanting, ‘No justice, No peace.’
Others marched along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, through John F. Kennedy Plaza, and around Philadelphia City Hall where protesters chanted at police officers and National Guard members.
The massive group, organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation, marched on City Hall from the Philadelphia Art Museum as police officers in riot gear stood in formation along the route.
It was briefly interrupted by a wedding as the fully decked out bride and groom brought their party to the protest as they were loudly cheered on.
PHILADELPHIA: Wallace Weaver, of Mount Airy, Philadelphia, speaks on the microphone to encourage protesters demonstrating to register to vote at the Philadelphia Art Museum as a protest began to march on City Hall Saturday
PHILADELPHIA: Community members gather for a family-friendly and peaceful protest the Mount Airy neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia on Saturday as a larger protest took place in the center of the city
PHILADELPHIA: Newlyweds Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon joined the march as it traveled down Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Newlyweds Kerry Anne and Michael Gordon joined the march as it traveled down Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Law enforcement had placed a truck in front of a ramp onto Interstate 676, where on Monday police had teargassed protesters who went onto the highway, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Although some protesters began to heckle officers as they neared the Municipal Buildings, police did not respond.
The city still has a curfew in place from 8pm until 6am Sunday.
The number expected has been difficult to calculate as agencies normally able to predict a number have been off duty or scaled back due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Washington Post, the Park has stopped issuing protest permits and in-person meetings between agencies and community organizers have been halted.
‘We anticipate the largest demonstrations with regards to numbers that we’ve seen in the city to date,’ said Police Chief Peter Newsham.
‘And we anticipate that the protesters will continue to be as peaceful as they have been over the past couple of days.’
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA:
Protests kicked off as thousands of mourners arrived at George Floyd‘s memorial in North Carolina.
Local authorities anticipate somewhere between 30,000 to 40,000 people to come to the Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters in Raeford, North Carolina.
Floyd’s body arrived to the center as long lines formed outside the center as people came to pay their respects, WTVD reports.
The father is a native of North Carolina, originally from Fayetteville.
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: The casket carrying George Floyd’s body at his memorial services at R.L Douglas Cape Fear
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: Floyd’s body arrived to the center as long lines formed and people came to pay their respects
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: A young mourner lines up for a public viewing for George Floyd in North Carolina
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: A motorcycle group arrives to pay respect to George Floyd at his memorial in North Carolina
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: Hundreds of cars line up as mourners arrive for the public viewing for George Floyd
RAEFORD, NORTH CAROLINA: Groups of mourners in face masks lined up in their hundreds at Floyd’s memorial
Mourners could be seen wearing masks and various shirts with George Floyd’s face on it, with messages like ‘I Can’t Breathe’ on them.
Protesters joined them carrying ‘Black Lives Matter’ signs and wearing face masks.
Governor Roy Cooper ordered all North Carolina flags located at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday.
Following the Saturday service, Floyd’s body will head off to Houston where there will be a public viewing. Floyd was raised in Houston and spent a lot of his time in the Texas city.
In Chicago, protesters gathered at Union Park and marched through the city’s West Side in the first of several demonstrations planned for the weekend.
The ‘Chicago March of Justice’ kicked off at 11am just hours after Friday’s protest had ended earlier that morning, according to WGNTV.
The crowd was estimated to be at around 20,000 people reported the Chicago Tribune.
It came after Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a series of new measures she said would preemptively help local businesses and prevent a repeat of last week’s civil unrest in the city.
It included deploying additional security from local, state and federal partners to protect those businesses.
The city will enforce a curfew Saturday night from 9pm.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Protesters gather to prepare to march from Union Park in Chicago on Saturday
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Chicago police lined the route as thousands of peaceful protesters gathered in Chicago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Young protesters joined the Chicago march as peaceful protesters left from Union Park, Chicago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: A protester in Chicago holds a sign reading 8.46, the amount of time former police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd’s neck as he arrested him, leading to Floyd’s death
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Protesters march from Union Park during a George Floyd demonstration in Chicago on Saturday
LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO:
Protests also took place in San Francisco and Los Angeles, among other locations across California.
Dozens of people gathered by the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center in San Francisco as they prepared to march across the famous structure as part of their demonstration.
In Los Angeles, Police Chief Michel Moore joined the protest alongside Los Angeles council member Joe Buscaino and President of the San Pedro/Wilmington Chapter of the NAACP Dr. Cheyenne Bryant.
George Floyd died on May 25 after white police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with murder, put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he lay handcuffed on the pavement, gasping that he couldn’t breathe.
Three other Minneapolis police officers – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – were charged on Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death.
Further protest are scheduled to continue throughout the weekend.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Los Angeles council member Joe Buscaino and President of the San Pedro/Wilmington Chapter of the NAACP Dr. Cheyenne Bryant attend a ‘Unity March’ against racial inequality on Saturday
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Hundreds of protesters gathered around a speaker at a protest in Los Angeles on Saturday
SAN, FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Dozens of people gather by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to protest