As the 9th night of national protests continues, the tone of many protests downtown Brooklyn has been largely peaceful compared to Tuesday night’s looting rampage in Manhattan and the prior weekend that resulted in two deaths.
This is due in part to the city’s enacted curfew and thunderstorms that have cropped up over several nights.
However, some groups go out of their way to try to maintain the peace established in the daytime, even though mass arrests seen last night an hour and a half after curfew and incidents of violence against three cops, speculated to have been inspired by anti-police rhetoric.
The small, independent group called Fam Worldwide, which stands for (F)reedom (A)ctualization (M)ovement, has been on the forefront of a few of the downtown protests. The group lit candles on the Barclay’s Center plaza Tuesday evening, June 2, and handed out free candles to the crowds as a mini-memorial for George Floyd and others who have died as a result of police brutality. In the center of the candles was a chair labeled with a reservation for Governor Andrew Cuomo.
A Fam Worldwide member said, “We decided to set up here because we wanted to always have a spot for people to be peaceful.”
An official memorial for George Floyd will be held today, June 4, in Minneapolis.
At a separate, simultaneous protest also downtown Brooklyn that took to 5th Avenue instead of Cadman Plaza, blocking and crowding several streets, dubbed itself the Prayerful Protest. At that gathering volunteers handed out squirts of hand sanitizer, masks, packaged snacks, and water bottles to protesters walking by.
One group of women handed out dozens of carnations to passersbys on the corner of 5th and Baltic Avenues. One of them, who because of her affiliation with a public school wished to be identified as Ann, said that carnations were super cheap and you can get a lot of them quickly.
“Also flowers are a blatant symbol of nonviolence and nature,” she said, “Plus, they are pretty and a nice thing to have out here.”