WASHINGTON – Thousands of people joined a second night of protests Tuesday in response to the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting death of Mike Brown.
The crowd met at Mount Vernon Square and marched through downtown Washington,where it stopped at several intersections,in front of the Walmart on H Street NW and took over the street in front of the Verizon Center and the National Portrait Gallery in Chinatown.
Jerrel Elliot,21,an activist who works at a copy shop,was holding a flag upside down during the protest,a sign of distress.
This is “more than just a black people’s movement. It’s a people’s movement,” he said.
It’s about more than black lives,he said. “It’s the minds of the people,it’s everybody.”
The number of demonstrators was at least three times as large as the previous night’s rallies,and activists mentioned a number of problems affecting the local black community,including gentrification,raising the minimum wage and creating a citizen review board for police shootings.
Protesters used many of the same chants,but the larger group included more diverse signs and slogans than it did the night before.
Janessa Robinson,25,cheered as an American flag was burned outside the Verizon Center. She said she feels the country cares more about the flag than some of its people.
“The main reason people get upset about burning the flag is because of veterans” Robinson,a Huffington Post blogger,said. “This is not about veterans.
“If that flag is more important than my life,then [expletive] everyone who was offended by it.”
After the main demonstration ended,a number of energetic protesters continued marching toward the White House.
Activists blocked traffic in the intersection of 14th and F streets NW for four and a half minutes and laid down for a die-in protest,which is symbolic of the four and a half hours that Mike Brown’s body laid in the street after his death.
There were no arrests made in connection with the demonstration,police said Wednesday.
Reach reporter Wesley Juhl at [email protected] or 202-408-1491. Reach reporter Lucas Daprile at [email protected] and 202-408-1490. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.