Scenes From This Week's #BlackLivesMatter Protest In New York : Code Switch NPR's Ryan Kailath observed the day's rally in New York's Union Square, and spoke with several of the hundreds of protesters and passers-by.
NPR logo Scenes From This Week's #BlackLivesMatter Protest In New York

Scenes From This Week's #BlackLivesMatter Protest In New York

Students across New York City staged walkouts from school to join a Black Lives Matter protest in Union Square on April 14, 2015. Ryan Kailath/NPR hide caption

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Ryan Kailath/NPR

Students across New York City staged walkouts from school to join a Black Lives Matter protest in Union Square on April 14, 2015.

Ryan Kailath/NPR

Organizers with the Black Lives Matter movement staged protests across the country on April 14, 2015. Publicized online with the hashtag #ShutDownA14 — as in, shut down your cities on April 14 — the protests called for students and employees to walk out of school and work, to bring attention to the recent police killings of unarmed minorities.

Planet Money intern Ryan Kailath observed the day's rally in New York's Union Square, and spoke with several of the hundreds of protesters and passers-by.

Thoughts From Protesters and Passers-by

  • Steff Reed

    "I think for a while the issue seemed like a marginalized issue that was only with black people and just something that we're exaggerating, and being emotional and making things up. But thank god for social media, thank god for cameraphone images and videos, that we're able to see that this is an epidemic that's been going on for centuries."
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "I think for a while the issue seemed like a marginalized issue that was only with black people and just something that we're exaggerating, and being emotional and making things up. But thank God for social media, thank God for cameraphone images and videos, that we're able to see that this is an epidemic that's been going on for centuries."

  • Malikah Pinkston

    "When I saw Michael Brown laying on the ground, I thought that somebody ran over an animal...it was like a trail of blood. I just broke down, I couldn't believe they left his body out there for so long. When I saw what happened to Eric Garner on film...I'm an asthmatic... When I saw what they did to him...I just wanted to reach through the screen and help him."
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "When I saw Michael Brown laying on the ground, I thought that somebody ran over an animal ... it was like a trail of blood. I just broke down, I couldn't believe they left his body out there for so long. When I saw what happened to Eric Garner on film ... I'm an asthmatic. If I fight and tussle with people I'll get short of breath. When I saw what they did to him ... I just wanted to reach through the screen and help him."

  • Eve Ensler, playwright

    "I really wanna say as a white person: those of us who walk with privilege...every white person in America should be out here today." - playwright Eve Ensler
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "I really wanna say as a white person: those of us who walk with privilege ... every white person in America should be out here today."

  • Lena Gallager (left)

    "My grandparents were an interracial couple in the sixties and no-one came to their wedding. Even though it's not the sixties anymore there's still things that are so similar and it inspires me to try to change what's happening now." - Lena Gallager, far left
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "My grandparents were an interracial couple in the sixties and no one came to their wedding. Even though it's not the sixties anymore there's still things that are so similar and it inspires me to try to change what's happening now."

  • Sage Meade

    "I'm drawing an African-American male on the floor because lately we've been seeing a lot of those on the floor. On the floor bleeding. We've been seeing their families crying on the floor, so, might as well show it to everyone. That's why we're here today." - Sage Meade
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "I'm drawing an African-American male on the floor because lately we've been seeing a lot of those on the floor. On the floor bleeding. We've been seeing their families crying on the floor, so, might as well show it to everyone. That's why we're here today."

  • Ueli Seewer

    "In Switzerland we have a picture of the United States and...this is not the normal picture we have, of a country with a strong army, fighting all the world for freedom, liberty."  - Ueli Seewer
    Ryan Kailath/NPR

    "In Switzerland we have a picture of the United States and ... this is not the normal picture we have, of a country with a strong army, fighting all the world for freedom, liberty."

    NPR: "How does this picture look different?"

    "You have a lot of people who are organized politically and they can talk about their opinion and protest against what they are thinking of. It's not the normal picture I have. It's not totally surprising but not what I expected when I came here."