What do we want? JUSTICE! When do we want it? NOW!
Whose streets? OUR STREETS! Whose city? OUR CITY!
No Justice? No peace!
HANDS UP DON'T SHOOT.
It was a loud night to be in Baltimore.
Protests simmered at area colleges throughout the day, and kicked off in the city around 4PM. Two protest groups weaved through the city's streets after dark, chanting and blocking traffic, accompanied by a blogger from your very own USDemocrazy.
A variety of homemade signs sprouted from the crowd, ranging from grim (pictures of Michael Brown's crying family members) to informative (statistics on police shootings) to nerdy ("one does not simply take a man's life").
The protestors represented a wide range of ethnicities and ages, although as the night wore on, many of the oldest and youngest left, leaving a crowd comprised primarily of young adults.
Throughout the evening, police appeared vigilant but protected protesters from traffic. Protest organizers patrolled their flock, leading chants and keeping the group together.
Twice, the two groups met and sat in intersections to observe four and a half minutes of silence while searchlights from an overhead helicopter swept the crowd.
Drivers in cars blocked by the protest displayed mixed reactions. Some filmed with their cellphones, others appeared frustrated, and still others honked their horns and cheered in solidarity.
One protest group, led primarily by Morgan State University students, blocked an on ramp to I-83 before returning to the city center. Organizers managed to deescalate a tense confrontation between a protestor and an aggressive driver, and dispersed peacefully as police stepped up surveillance.
During the rallies, Baltimore police tweeted "we are committed to ensuring the first amendment rights of our citizens." In another tweet, reporter Cam Johnson (WNEW) estimated "close to 1000" protesters in attendance.