July 9, 2016 5:20:50 am
A look at worldwide protests and related events following the police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas.
Black Lives Matter supporters said they plan to continue a sit-in in Denver in response to the police shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana through Tuesday for a total of 135 hours. That’s an hour for each of the black people they say have been killed by police across the country this year.
The gathering, across from the City and County Building, began Thursday afternoon, several hours before police officers were killed in Dallas.
Organizer Vince Bowen said it’s intended to be a place for blacks to “be human” and grieve and vent about this week’s shootings of black men by police.
People have been dropping off food and water for those camped out on chairs and blankets in the shade of a large tree in Civic Center Park not far from other people playing soccer and taking wedding photos.
Rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful march to Los Angeles police headquarters, where they met with the mayor and police chief and urged improved relations between authorities and minority communities. Protests were planned in Oakland and San Francisco on Friday night.
About 2,000 people blocked a highway in Oakland, smashed windows and scrawled ” ” murderers” across a police building, leading to seven arrests on Thursday, authorities said.
The protest began with a mostly peaceful rally and march downtown. The crowd swelled, and about 1,000 demonstrators headed to Interstate 880, bringing traffic to a halt, police said. Vehicles were backed up for hours as demonstrators danced and played music.
No one was injured in the protest, but a small fire was set on the highway and two businesses had broken windows and graffiti scrawled on them, police said.
In Sacramento, guards were closing the Capitol early in expectation of a protest Friday evening. The demonstration was organized by affiliates of the Black Lives Matter movement after the Dallas shooting
About 300 people gathered in southwest Omaha to protest the recent fatal police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.
Protest organizer Rene Harper says the Dallas shooting kept some people away.
The group discussed how to conduct a peaceful protest before moving with signs to all four corners of an intersection.
Police were present. Several police cruisers were in the area, and police officers were stationed on the roofs of nearby businesses.
Pittsburgh’s police chief walked along with protesters at an activist march downtown on Friday and said it was peaceful.
Police said uniformed and plainclothes officers used extreme caution following the Dallas sniper shootings, which killed five officers.
Organizers billed the march as a protest against “growing inequality and a toxic atmosphere of hate.” Hundreds of marchers turned.
Police Chief Cameron McLay shook marchers’ hands and chatted with them. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review the march was “great” and he “expected to find the atmosphere more tense.”
A march was planned Friday night in Philadelphia to protest the deadly shootings of black men by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. Organizers told The Philadelphia Inquirer the sniper slayings in Dallas were a tragedy but their protest would go on.
Religious leaders gathered at an interfaith service in Boston on Friday to pray for an end to the racially tinged violence racking the nation.
Nancy Taylor, senior pastor of Old South Church, told the gathering she was weary of the mounting death toll.
“Can we hold hands? I think we need to touch each other,” Taylor said. “I’m here to say that I’m tired of praying. Tired of praying over dead bodies, the young dead. Sick and tired of praying over those killed by gun violence.”
The Rev. Laura Everett, of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, called on people “to do the work of dismantling the systemic racism that pervades our American society.”
“This is not the best of who we are,” she said. “People are dying. People are grieving. Families of police officers are wondering if their mothers and their fathers come home. Families of black men are wondering if their boys come home.”
The Very Rev. James Flavin, of the Archdiocese of Boston, said the violence was reminiscent of civil rights-era unrest.
Organizers have postponed a weekend rally in Flint in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after the killings of five Dallas police officers.
The Rev. Jeffrey Hawkins said the rally was intended to be a way to discuss how to improve relationships with police. He told The Flint Journal he wasn’t discouraged from holding the Saturday event but felt it wasn’t a good time.
A few dozen people rallied peacefully outside the U.S. Department of Justice headquarters, holding candles and quietly singing “We Shall Not Be Moved” amid a heavy local and federal police presence.
Howard University student George Wyche, who’s from Houston, said he was worn out emotionally from the racially tinged violence of this week. He said he believes there are no easy answers to the tensions plaguing the country.
“You have quotes about a race war from a former congressman. It does terrify you,” Wyche said. “But now is not a time for fear. It’s a time for outreach. It’s a time for belief in the greater good of humanity.”
Hundreds of people took part in a Black Lives Matter protest in London on Friday.
Large crowds of people marched through busy streets in the central part of the city as drivers honked their horns and passers-by pumped their fists.
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