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Miami protest for Eric Garner shuts down I-195 and international art show

By staff |
December 7, 2014
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Miami protest demands justice for Eric Garner.
Miami protest demands justice for Eric Garner. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Miami, FL- Over 500 people marched through the streets of Miami on Dec. 5 in response to a grand jury’s refusal to indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo who killed Eric Garner. The protest called for an end to police violence against African Americans, Latinos and other oppressed people in the U.S.

What began as a vigil for victims of police brutality quickly turned into a militant mass march. The protesters chanted, “No justice, no peace! No racist police!” as they bravely took to the streets. Before long, the demonstrators marched out onto one of Miami’s largest and busiest highways chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” Interstate 195 came to a halt for 30 minutes. One driver attempted to push through the crowd, revving his engine aggressively. Not to be intimidated, the group of protesters locked arms, preventing him from getting through.

The large crowd then walked against oncoming traffic, shouting, “If we don’t get it, shut it down!” They walked for over a mile along the highway before exiting on Biscayne Boulevard. Many of the drivers left their cars to take pictures and chant in solidarity with the protesters, others honked their horns in support. The next stop was Miami’s Wynwood art district, where all roads leading to and from the Art Basel, an international art festival, were shut down.

At this point the protest surged, as more and more people left the sidewalks and joined the march. It culminated in a huge die-in that covered an entire intersection of downtown Miami. The silent die-in lasted four minutes and thirty seconds to commemorate the police killing of Mike Brown, whose body was left lying in the road by Ferguson police for four hours and 30 minutes.

The protest, organized by the Miami Committee on State Violence, was part of the recent wave of protests taking place nationally.