Saturday, May 30th, 2020 was a defining day in American history and for the fight against systematic inequality, injustice, and oppression that has kneeled on the neck of black and brown Americans for far too long while benefitting their white counterparts. Protests erupted in 50+ cities across the United States five days after the inhumane death of George Floyd in Minneapolis by long disgraced police officer Derek Chauvin who kneeled on his neck for ~9 minutes while his colleagues Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J Alexander Kueng acted as his accomplices. While Derek Chauvin has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder, a slap in the face to all who seek justice, it wasn't enough to quell the overwhelming anger and frustration of the millions of black and brown Americans who have faced overwhelming amounts of injustice not just over the last decade or two decades or half century, but over the last 400+ years.
I spent the day protesting in New York City, starting in my neighborhood in Union Square, crossing to the West Side Highway, back over into Washington Square Park, then over to the east village police precinct on 9th street, and eventually to the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges that we collectively shut down before heading back to Union Square. Here are some of the images I captured:
The protest was EXTREMELY peaceful until the sun went down and we marched back up to Union Square. As we passed Cooper Union, a few police vans pulled up and the first moments of violence ensued.
The night ended in Union Square with police vans being smashed, mutilated, and burned.
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© 2020 Michael Orso