North Texas Daily

Peaceful weekend protests continue in Dallas

Peaceful weekend protests continue in Dallas

Peaceful weekend protests continue in Dallas
December 08
14:56 2014

Caitlyn Jones / Features Editor

Chants of “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and “I can’t breathe!” filled the air Friday night as a crowd of more than 200 gathered in downtown Dallas for the second night in a row of peaceful protests.

The protest was centered on the grand jury decisions not to indict law enforcement officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. while Officer Daniel Pantaleo choked Garner to death July 7 in Staten Island, N.Y.

Dallas was one of many places to see demonstrations over the weekend. Protestors marched and staged “die-ins” across the nation in major cities such as New York, Washington and Los Angeles.

Most protests remained peaceful, but police threw tear gas at demonstrators in Berkeley, Calif.

Local demonstrators met in the Belo Garden on Commerce Street at 9 p.m. for a rally where organizers, church members, radio DJs and poets spoke out against injustice between races and in the judicial system.

120514_protest_web21915Several men and women grabbed a megaphone and spoke to protesters about racial equality last Saturday in Dallas.

One speaker, Michael Waters, recounted the tale of Allen Brooks, a black man who was charged with criminal assault of a 3-year-old girl in 1910. On the day of his trial, a mob stormed the Criminal District Courtroom and pushed Brooks out the window of the building. They then hanged him at the corner of Elm and Akard Streets where troves of onlookers watched.

“If we do not connect the dots here today, we will see the same system that killed Allen Brooks,” Waters said.

Olinka Green, known as DJ Hey Luv on the web station So Metro Radio, echoed Waters’ sentiments and referred to other killings like 12-year-old Tamir Rice and 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones who were both shot by law enforcement officers.

“It takes a demon to shoot a 12-year-old boy. It takes a demon to shoot a 7-year-old girl,” she said. “It takes a demon to choke the life out of a man after he told them 11 times he can’t breathe.”

After the rally, protesters took to the streets. The group walked down Griffin Street to the American Airlines Center where UNT alumna and former Student Government Association Vice President Mercedes Fulbright was arrested after laying down on the ground in front of the building.120514_protest_web31941

A protester holds a sign that reads “no justice, no peace,” during the protest in Dallas last Saturday.

Even though protest organizers told the crowd to comply with law enforcement, at least five others were arrested for obstruction of a highway or passageway. Dallas police followed the protest and blocked off streets and intersections to ensure safety for demonstrators.

“We reach out to organizers and let them know the basics like noise ordinances or if anything requires a permit,” Detective Laura Martin said. “Other than that, we let the demonstrators coordinate.”

Protest organizers also had secondary security from Elite Bonding and Investigation on hand.

Organizer Lindy Cavness went to Ferguson last month when the decision regarding the Michael Brown case came out. After protesting there, she came back to Dallas to spread the message.

“This is incredible,” she said of the protest. “It really is the people’s movement. I had people I didn’t even know messaging me and saying, ‘What about this?’ or ‘Have you thought about that?’”

After stopping at the American Airlines Center, the crowd continued walking and chanting along Houston Street and looped back around to Commerce. Marchers continued toward the Dallas Museum of Art while some split off and rejoined at Akard and Main Streets.

120514_protest_web41994

Hundreds of people march through the streets of downtown Dallas around the Victory Plaza area on Saturday. “Black lives matter,” “No justice no peace,” and “I can’t breathe,” we’re some of the chants that could be heard from the massive crowd.

The crowd began to disperse around midnight but said they would continue protesting Saturday in Arlington. More than 100 people gathered the next day at that demonstration.

Marchers on Friday also took to social media with hashtags like “blacklivesmatter” and “thisstopstoday.”

“People say black lives matter but we have to stand up and do something about it,” protester Chaaz Quigley said. “Black people represent the state of this nation and when black people die, everyone dies.”

Featured Image: A crowd of protesters march past an on ramp for I-35 in downtown Dallas while city police serve as an escort for the group on Saturday night. Photos by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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