On the Night of the Outrageous Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement: People Around the Country Take to the Streets

November 25, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Immediately after the November 24 announcement that the Ferguson grand jury refused to indict the murdering pig Darren Wilson, people took to the streets and acted in other ways across the country to express outrage. Here are initial reports we've received from just a few of the cities.

New York City

Hundreds of people gathered at Union Square, 14th Street, for the announcement of the grand jury decision. Once announced, a moment of silence was observed, and then it was on! The hundreds there grew to about 1,000 as it headed out of the park took over the streets. Turning up 6th Avenue, police scooters got aggressive trying to force people to half of the street, but people were not intimidated and would not back down, and the police were forced to back off. The march took the street, and took Times Square.

From there the very spirited, very determined march headed up the over 100 blocks to Harlem, growing and shrinking at different points to between 500 and 1,500 people, a mix of white, Black, Latino and others, and young, (one chant was "We're young, we're strong, we're marching all night long" and they meant it!) The march got to Harlem after midnight, turned right and took the Triboro Bridge, where traffic was stopped on the Manhattan feed for over an hour.

Word spread about how people were standing up in Ferguson and around the country, and the parting comment between people was "see you tomorrow!"

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, people fought with determination to bring the city to a halt in response to the outrageous grand jury decision and together with people in Ferguson and throughout the country. Marchers blocked freeways and staged die-ins at major intersections, including UCLA students marching through campus and blocking the central Wilshire/Westwood thoroughfare.

Early in the evening, a group gathered in the Crenshaw area and marched through neighborhoods calling people into the streets, and then onto the 10 Freeway chanting “Justice for Mike Brown, Shut it Down, Shut it Down!” They made it up the off-ramp and briefly onto the freeway before being confronted by police and pushed off, but this set a tone and inspired others to come out. The group staged die-ins at major intersections, including one on famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and a powerful 4 ½ minute die-in at La Brea/Wilshire for the 4 ½ hours Mike Brown’s body was left in the street like a dog.

In Leimert Park, where the pacifiers were having a mournful gathering and working to quell the rage of the masses, another group began marching after a 9-year-old got on the bullhorn: “They can kill us and get away with it. What are we going to do? We need to do something!” The marchers met up with more people who had gathered on Crenshaw and marched to the Southwest LAPD station and then on towards the University of Southern California. The elite campus went on lockdown, not only preventing people from entering, but also locking students into the campus. Earlier in the day, USC students cried as the decision was read. “To sit and listen to them justify someone being killed was just an assault on us,” one student said. A protest on campus was scheduled for the next day.

The protesters went through the USC neighborhood chanting, “Out of the dorms, into the streets, out of your apartments, into the streets!” and people joined in along the way. A river of determined people headed for the 110 Freeway, marching from one blocked entrance to the next one. Then—one marcher said, “we saw a fence, so a few people started running up there, then after a good amount of people blocked off one side of the freeway, we blocked off the other side, and we stayed there for a while until the cops started pushing us off, first one side then the other side.” Two young Black men summed it up: “We all out here to support. This isn’t justice. It’s not right. Every time you turn around somebody being shot by the police. It ain’t gonna stop til somebody do something about it.”

At UCLA, word got out quickly to gather and students came to the gathering spot. Those who came called their friends, and as the group grew they marched through campus and into Westwood, picking up more people as they went. After one student walked into a busy intersection and sat down alone with his hands up, others followed. They dispersed late in the evening vowing to meet again the next day to continue.


Outraged by the announcement that Darren Wilson would not be charged, people who had been gathering at Oscar Grant plaza, took it to the streets, first by observing 4 ½ minutes of silence by dying-in in the middle of 14th and Broadway at the center of downtown Oakland.

About 250 people then marched, taking over the streets, chants echoing off the downtown buildings, furious that the pig was walking, determined to make the most powerful rejection of all this racist and reactionary shit. First foray went to a freeway exit near Chinatown. The protesters were blocked at the freeway entrance by a major police mobilization. At least one person was arrested in the confrontation at the on ramp. The protesters turned around and marched back to 14th and Broadway, taking over downtown streets all the way. “Michael Brown didn't have to die! We All know the reason why: the whole system is guilty!” At Oscar Grant plaza the crowd grew to at least 2,000, all ages and nationalities, but especially youth, and set off on a march again, this time towards the Grand Lake area where police tried to seal all the freeway entrances, but the youth in the front of the march found a crack and the crowd poured through, running up the off ramp and shutting the freeway down in both directions for at least an hour. “Ferguson, we got your back!” Many drivers of cars who were stopped on the freeway were clearly thrilled this was happening, they honked their horns in support, some getting out of their cars with fists in the air, videoing the protesters and cheering. “If you want justice for Michael Brown, honk your horn, it's time to get down!” After over an hour the police managed to gain control, arresting at least one person, and pushing the crowd off the ramp and, ordering people stopped on the ramp to get back into their cars. The march took off down the street and went on to another freeway off-ramp where they joined with another grouping of protesters and shut down Interstate 580 a second time protesters were brutalized and shoved off high concrete walls by the increasingly angry police.

There were different calls for people to continue the protests the next day, and many people marched back to 14th & Broadway. Protests in downtown Oakland are continuing as of this writing. Oakland has seen serious street battles, including in recent years, but nothing like this—stay tuned.


500 people came into streets—overwhelmingly youth—mainly white but also Black youth, people were angry, some with tears in their eyes—particular outrage from young Black people. A protest called by Oct 22nd Coalition To Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation gathered 300 people; intersections and streets were blocked in the heart of the city downtown; people did die-ins blocking intersections. This march converged with another march and then marched to a police precinct and through the Central District. A chill-out session called by "activists" along with the police department was disrupted. A young woman demanded to know why this session to talk about what to do in the aftermath of Ferguson involved the police department. People cheered for this. There was back and forth debate about going into the meeting, others called for people to get back into the streets. People marched all over. Later a group of several hundred tried to get onto the freeway, which was blocked by police. People were pepper sprayed and attacked by police but a number of people got onto the freeway and traffic was blocked northbound for a short time. All through the night, youth took to the streets, converging on police precincts. At least five people were arrested. Revcom.us slogans and chants were a big feature in marches.

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