Thousands flood Union Square to demand justice for Trayvon Martin; Police Clash with Protesters

NYC, 24.03.2012

March 22, 2012, NYC — Occupiers turned out in force last night in response to a call from Occupy The Hood. Their message was to protest racist brutality and to demand justice for Trayvon Martin, a Florida boy who was killed last month by George Zimmerman, a "self-apppointed neighborhood watch leader" with a history of racist behavior. Martin's murder has yet to be prosecuted by local authorities.

After last night's rally, Occupiers were dispersed by police into three marches, while hundreds stayed in the Square to chant and speakout for hours. "I am Trayvon Martin!" and "Who's Next?" were some of the chants. Police closed the subway station around 8:30pm, saying they had found a "suspicious package", and later barricaded and evicted the protesters for the second night in a row. Read More & Roundup | Photo from "I Am Trayvon Martin" Rally in DC | Reports from Bay Area Solidarity Rallies

Reports: | Village Voice

Related: Occupy the Hood speaks on shooting of Trayvon Martin from | Justice for Trayvon from | Trayvon Martin’s Parents Join "Million Hoodie" March in NYC from | Petition for Trayvon from | List of Events for Trayvon Martin from | What Everyone Should Know About Trayvon Martin from

From report:

Last night, thousands of New Yorkers converged on Union Square for the #MillionHoodiesMarch to demand justice for Trayvon Martin and all victims of racist terror. The NYPD also turned out in massive numbers and attacked the marchers, who responded with chants of ¨no justice, no peace, no racist police!¨ In a scene reminiscent of the September march for Troy Davis during the early days of the Liberty Square Occupation, the NYPD once again stole the show, turning a march against the killing of a Black 17-year-old into yet another scene of police brutality against protesters.

The crowd was split into several smaller marches by police assaults. One group filled Times Square with chants of ¨We are Trayvon Martin!¨, while another headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, and a third converged on Liberty Square (which NYPD had already barricaded). Nearby, top NYPD brass were caught on livestream violently arresting and swinging batons at peaceful protesters.

As the march arrived in the financial district, protesters overturned the barricades on Wall Street and climbed the iconic Wall Street bull that NYPD has vigilantly guarded ever since #OWS began, long a symbol of the banking and financial industry´s greed. The police were quick to rush to defend the symbol of the Stock Exchange, receiving chants of ¨Whose cops? Wall Street´s cops!¨ In the United States, police attack nonviolent protesters for challenging economic inequality, but killers of unarmed youth of color are left alone.

After the Million Hoodie March, many Occupiers returned to Union Square for the night. They were met with an even larger police presence. Occupiers were doing nothing except socializing, playing music, and resting when hundreds of police, with many high-ranking officials and riot squads present, set up barricades. As though trying to incite a riot, the NYPD forced them from their peaceful encampment once again, formed a human chain around protesters, and threatened to arrest anyone who sits in the park.

For two nights now, in a display of wishful thinking, local corporate media has claimed that Occupy Union Square was evicted. But we´re still there. Last night, after being kicked out temporarily, Occupiers merely marched around the perimeter and waited in a tense stand-off until police finally left. Given the increasingly aggressive temperament of the NYPD commanders on the scene, many expected a violent mass arrest which, luckily, did not occur - most likely because literally 100s of thousands of people had been watching the night's events on Livestream.


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