posted at 17:50
Author: Brittany Levine
Protesters flood streets, stage die-ins in wake of Eric Garner decision
After lying motionless on the ground of Grand Central Station in New York City during a die-in organized in protest of a Staten Island grand jury decision not to indict a New York police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, demonstrators sprang to life, chanting "I Can't Breathe." Garner's final words were a rallying cry for protesters after his death, too. Protesters took to the streets throughout New York City and other cities in response to the grand jury decision announced Wednesday. The same slogan has been a common refrain at protests in Ferguson over the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was also black and killed by a white police officer who was not indicted by a grand jury. More than 100 protesters also staged a die-in at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and marched through the city's center, but according to a group called Defense of Black Bodies, which organized the die-in, the event seemed to center around Brown's death, with demonstrators laying down for 4 minutes and 30 seconds, a parallel to the 4 hours and 30 minutes Brown's body lay on a Ferguson street after he was killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. The protesters in Philadelphia later crashed a tree lighting ceremony at City Hall, overpowering children singing Christmas songs, according to NBC. Washington, D.C. Protesters also gathered in the streets of Washington, D.C., shouting "This is what democracy looks like," yet another refrain used during Ferguson rallies. In Oakland, an Occupy group led the charge for demonstrators to gather at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Wednesday afternoon to protest the killings of both Brown and Garner. Several speakers called on protesters to remain peaceful, including Letitia James, New York City's public advocate, who called for the grand jury records be made public Wednesday.

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