I write this fresh from the Eric Garner rally. Organized by Al Sharpton and the National Action Network, thousands gathered at the We Will Not Go Back rally to protest police brutality. The rally was held in Staten Island, where Eric Garner was killed after being placed in an illegal chokehold by Officer Panteleo.
After a two hour commute, I docked into Staten Island, where I was greeted with police and their barricades. Men donned with orange armbands that said “MARSHAL” directed me to the central hub of the rally. It was there that I was visually struck by a diverse arrangement of individuals and organizations.
And then the march proceeded.
Festering in the crowd was a resilience, manifested through both vocal declarations and silent resolve.
The mantra “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” was prevalent throughout. As was solidarity with Mike Brown and the people of Ferguson.
The most provocative theme was “I can’t breathe!” … the notorious last words whispered by Eric Garner as officers placed him in a chokehold and surrounded him.
The most stunning declaration came from these two men shown below. The message they provoke require no words.
We marched along for over an hour. Towards the end, I came across this stunning trail.
Pulling it was this man–a self proclaimed fighter who brought me to tears with this.
The rally ended with statements from various organizers of the event. I stood right behind this girl, perched on her father’s shoulders with a powerful reminder pinned to her back.