by NAOMI HARRIS
No less than 24 hours after a jury in Ferguson released their decision to not indict Darren Wilson, cities across the country including our nation’s capitol erupted in loud protest. The protest in Washington, D.C. began in Mount Vernon and took to the streets as the crowd grew to over a 1,000 supporters. Here is a timeline of what happened.
7:00 p.m. – Protesters fill up Mount Vernon Square with posters, some homemade and others handed out by organizations. Posters read, “Black Lives Matter,” “Stand With the People of Ferguson,” and “Justice for Michael Brown.” The crowd listens intently as people speak on behalf of the protest and the importance of showing support for the events happening in Ferguson.
7:23 p.m. – The protest begins to move towards the streets with people chanting, “No justice? No peace. No racist police!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
8:01 p.m. – Protesters completely cut off an intersection as police direct traffic away from the growing crowd. At this point more than a 1,000 supporters have rallied together. Multiple chants can be heard as protesters form a barricade around the intersection.
8:13 p.m. – The protest begins moving again and heads near Interstate 395.
8:19 p.m. – Two cars are spotted near H Street. They are unable to move due to the heavy flow of protesters walking around their car and further down D.C.
8:33 p.m. – Some protesters veer into a nearby Walmart. The deviation causes confusion among others who don’t understand why the protest has shifted. Members of the protest march into the Walmart as employees from the glass windows can be seen staring down and watching in surprise.
8:40 p.m. – Different sections of the protest move away from Walmart and back towards Chinatown in an effort to regroup. Two members of Anonymous inform others that trespassing into Walmart is illegal and they heavily advise against it.
8:50 p.m. – Cops on motorcycles drive urgently ahead of the protest to cut off traffic. Radio conversations about the protest can be overheard as they figure out where the protest heads to next. They direct cars to head back around to maintain safety with the protest.
9:30 p.m. – Protesters reach the National Portrait Gallery and stand on the front steps while singing, “We Shall Overcome.” The signs wave high while people join in song.The protest officially ends while others continue to march.
10 p.m.- The protesters still marching begin to head towards Capitol Hill.
Throughout the protest in D.C., those who were part of the event opened up on why they decided to show their support tonight.
“I came out here tonight to raise my voice and let people know that what’s going on is not right in the world. We need to stand up for what’s right and we need to raise our voice to let other people know that they shouldn’t just sit around. Silence is acceptance and if we don’t do anything it’s just going to keep going and going and going.” –Mark
“I believe that everybody should show up to events like this and make our voices heard. I came to this today because I think that being a true patriot is questioning authority and challenging our government to do what is right for justice and peace for everyone. Our Constitution, right now, appears to just be an illusion and that’s not acceptable.” –Evan P.
“I should come here because this is an important issue, not just for black people, but for the whole community I guess I can say. Someone’s rights were compromised and when that happens we all need to stand together. It’s an important issue that we should all care about.” –Jordan S.
“I’m here to show solidarity. I feel like, time and time again, we’ve been trying to make noise and make a difference and get our point across. But, time and time again, people spit in our faces, the system spits in our faces. I think enough is enough and it’s great to be around like-minded people and try and find ways to make a difference.” –Tyler B.