Beyond Baltimore: New York City Takes to the Streets

The demonstrations following Freddie Gray’s death began at 6 p.m., with chants of “No justice, no peace!”

James West/Mother Jones

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Several hundred people gathered on Wednesday evening in New York City’s Union Square in solidarity with protesters who took to the streets of Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody after suffering a spinal injury.

The demonstrators converged on Union Square at 6 p.m., with many chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “How do you spell racism? N-Y-P-D.” Some in the largely disorganized yet agitated group waved signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and asked “Why is Freddie Gray Dead?” in the city’s first major display since clashes between Baltimore residents and police broke out over the weekend. The riots left at least a dozen police officers injured and devastated local businesses and buildings, leading to remarks on the situation from athletes, Hillary Clinton, and President Barack Obama.

New York City police, in an effort to manage the crowd, handed flyers to protesters in Union Square noting they were “not permitted to walk in the roadway or street.” A reporter on the ground witnessed skirmishes with police and at least one arrest.

Scores of police were active in keeping protestors confined to sidewalks. Mother Jones witnessed a handful of arrests shortly after protestors began to leave Union Square:

Tim McDonnell/Mother Jones

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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