Thousands of protesters in 170 American cities participated in rallies and marches Tuesday night to not only show their solidarity with Ferguson protesters, but to also display their outrage at the racial injustice apparent in the nation’s broken legal system. From Boston to Los Angeles, people of all races and ages poured into the streets to demonstrate and make their voices heard. Meanwhile, several demonstrations occurred throughout Ferguson and St. Louis. While there were some arrests made in Ferguson, and one police car was torched and some windows were broken, there was far less violence and damage compared to Monday night, when over 20 buildings were set ablaze.
After a number of businesses were burned down and ransacked following the grand jury’s announcement that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon tripled the number of National Guard troops in the St. Louis area, bringing the total to 2,200. Troops were stationed by the Ferguson police department Tuesday evening, as well as other locations throughout the city, when protesters started to gather along S. Florissant Ave.
Protests near the police station were generally calm in the early parts of the evening. However, a group of demonstrators started marching down the street towards Ferguson’s city hall. At that point, an unmanned police cruiser was tipped over and then torched with what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail. Police moved in on the scene and later used tear gas to disperse the crowd. Armored vehicles were then driven down the street while police told those gathered that it was now an unlawful assembly and they needed to leave the area. Later in the evening, when hundreds more gathered at the police station, police and the National Guard made arrests while dispersing the crowd. Several windows along the street were broken.
Elsewhere in St. Louis, groups of protesters gathered in the Central West End and Shaw neighborhoods, as well as a shopping center in Brentwood. The protesters in Central West End were able to shut down various intersections as they made their way through the area. As many as 100 protesters participated in these demonstrations. While police did arrive in riot gear, no arrests were made in Central West End, and the situation remained calm. Roughly 20 protesters arrived in Shaw, and two arrests were made as police moved through the streets. Numerous windows were broken in the area the night before.
In the protests across the nation, it appears that they were mostly peaceful, but also disruptive and effective in getting the message across. In numerous cities, highways and major thoroughfares were completely shut down for periods of time. Protesters in Los Angeles were able to block a major highway, as well as other large intersections and a metro train station.
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) November 25, 2014
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Atlanta for the second straight night. Per CNN, demonstrators stood with fists raised as Public Enemy’s ‘Fight the Power’ played over a loudspeaker. By the end of the evening, dozens of arrests were made and a militarized police force swept through the city to disperse the crowd.
— AJC (@ajc) November 26, 2014
— Max Blau (@MaxBlau) November 26, 2014
In Oakland, protesters shut down a freeway for at least 10 minutes. Police made numerous arrests throughout the night and there were reports of scattered vandalism.
— Occupy Oakland (@OccupyOakland) November 25, 2014
Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Boston in a show of support with those in Ferguson. While passing a jail, prisoners inside could be seen raising their hands, and one prisoner used tape to spell out ‘Mike Brown’ on his window.
— WBUR (@WBUR) November 26, 2014
These protests across the nation show how much this movement, which was started in Ferguson, has really spread and resonated. It also reveals how powerful social media can truly be in terms of organizing action and engaging people to move. Twitter and Facebook, as well as email and text messaging, has been an effective tool in connecting people and moving them to act.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).