Over 100 BLM protesters confronted NYPD officers from the George Washington Bridge in Manhattan to the 34th Precinct near New Jersey.
In New York, Hawk Newsome leads the local chapter of BLM activism.
Newsome called on demonstrators to arrive at George Washington Bridge, which links Manhattan to New Jersey. He tweeted on Thursday: “Roll with us Saturday as we Shut S*** Down. @blmgreaterny @Boogie Down Bronx.”
The protest was scheduled for Saturday, 12th September. People arrived at around 7:30 PM, blocking traffic on both lanes for at least 20 minutes. There were several groups of protesters waving BLM flags and posters.
Demonstrators were to gather at George Washington Bridge before marching towards the 34th precinct. Upon marching, several groups of police arrived from the Port Authority Police Department. They meant to escort the protesters towards the precinct.
Police were lined with batons from West 183rd Street and Broadway to four blocks down the road.
According to Newsome, there was a violent clash between three protestors and several police officers outside the 34th precinct. All three were immediately arrested.
About the arrests, Newsome tweeted, “Say Less. Work More. THEY NEVER SHUT DOWN THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE BEFORE. We did that for our Sisters and Brothers who had their lives stolen by AmeriKKKa.”
As of Sunday morning, Newsome has confirmed that six protesters are being detained. The protesters did not leave until 10:00 PM. Several were beaten and bruised, having been hit with batons. Some saw a white-officer push a protester to the ground.
According to the police report, there were no hospitalizations or serious injuries. However, several protesters feel the demonstration made an impact. One reported, “Look how much power we had. We sat on the bridge for 20 minutes. We shut the whole city down.”
At the same time, many are tired of the police’s response to BLM protests. The same protestor stated, “We came down here and police started beating the s*** out of us.”
The BLM movement is continuously met with resistance and violence. Many BLM activists like Newsome emphasize the need for systemic change. BLM protests are a necessary step towards that change.