In the background of the city’s tree lighting ceremony, a mass of demonstrators started chanting—Christmas carols mixed with “Hands up, Don’t shoot.”
Approximately 3,000 protestors gathered in the Boston Common Thursday evening—according to estimates from the Boston Police Department—in the midst of the city’s annual tree lighting ceremony, protesting the grand jury decision not to indict the New York City police officer involved in the alleged homicide of 42-year-old Eric Garner.
Guard rails and a strong police presence separated protestors from the stage of the event, as chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot,” “We can’t breathe,” and “This is what democracy looks like,” echoed in the background during an a cappella performance of “Jingle Bells” on stage.
More than 7,000 people said they were attending the Facebook event, titled “#EnoughIsEnough: We Are the Ones, Justice for Eric Garner.”
“I saw the event was spreading like crazy across Facebook and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Liann Ammar, a junior at Northeastern University.
At approximately 8 p.m. protestors broke off from the ceremony and marched toward the Massachusetts State House, flooding the streets as hundreds of police officers lined up in front of the building to encourage peaceful protesting. The crowd then filled the area outside of Government Center before heading marching across the Charlestown Bridge, closing off all traffic.
Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor