Several hundred protesters, predominantly young people wearing black clothing, marched Sunday from Times Square to Union Square, where they paid tribute to African-American lives lost in police-involved violence.
The demonstration came on the fourth consecutive day of nationwide protests linked to the Black Lives Matter movement, including a peaceful event Thursday night in Dallas that was disrupted by a gunman who shot five police officers to death and wounded seven others, including two civilians.
The Manhattan protest was without confrontation with NYPD officers, who monitored from the perimeter in Union Square.
Speakers took turns using a megaphone to express their thoughts, pay respects to the victims — including Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, shot dead last week, respectively, in Minnesota and Louisiana — and call for peace and unity.
Many said they were weary of a seemingly endless cycle of violence.
“I’m here today because I’m tired of what’s going on. I’m tired of seeing my brothers die,” said Kevin Rijo, 18, a student living in East New York, Brooklyn.
Daniel Loomis, 36, of Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, said the “sense of futility” was hard to deal with, but protesting is one thing he could do.
“Everything we’ve been seeing is not the America I want my children to grow up in,” said Loomis, who brought his two sons.
“Black Lives Matter,” read a huge cloth banner over the crowd, held up by nine people. Another sign read, “It’s not about taking sides, it’s about reform.”
The demonstrators were diverse in ethnicity.
More than 400 conducted a sit-in of sorts in Union Square, at one point, holding up their fists as a man sang Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
Faizah Sharif, 32, of South Jamaica, Queens, helped organize the march and rally, which wrapped up after about four hours as a storm passed overhead.
She said the mood fluctuated between frustration and resolve.
“Everyone just wants to change what they can change, and they’re more politically aware because it’s an election year,” she said.
Sharif said her event wasn’t officially affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Still, the sentiment was there, as the crowded several times chanted, “Black Lives Matter.”
Another organizer, Kimi Adamson, said they were there in peaceful protest, not to get arrested.
“Cops have been with us every step of the way, they’ve been apologetic and peaceful as well,” she said.
With Wendy Lu