On the afternoon of December 3, 2014, I sat waiting in the Blue Room of City Hall, waiting to photograph a number of bill signings by Mayor Bill DeBlasio for the organization Make the Road New York. Someone from the administration soon informed us that the bill signings would be cancelled, and some of us began to the wonder if something had happened in the grand-jury decision for the police officer in the death of Eric Garner. Soon reports from the media announced that Mayor DeBlasio was heading to Staten Island to speak about the decision.
Fast forward a few hours, after a number of news sources were describing the protests around the city, I headed to Union Square around 6:30 p.m. Things seemed pretty quiet aside from holiday market shoppers, but then I spotted someone in a “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt, and a few others approached him at the same time to ask where groups were gathering – “Everyone is heading to the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center,” we were told.
I popped back down into the subway and was swept into a crowd of protestors heading to the tree, which I quickly snapped with a cell phone:
I exited the subway with the same group of protestors, heading for Rockefeller Center, and soon small groups of marchers had turned into hundreds – some reports say 1000s. The following photos were taken from 7:00 pm until about 9:00 p.m. all throughout midtown Manhattan.
Chants heard throughout the streets:
“Hands up, Don’t Shoot”
“Eric Garner, Michael Brown – Shut it Down, Shut it Down”
“Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter”
“Whose Streets? Our Streets”
And finally, as protestors made their way to the West Side Highway to shut it down, police grabbed one marcher and began to handcuff him on the back of a car. As a camera person went to get footage, the police pushed him down on the car, as well.
The End for this night of protests.
Shut it down.