These Protests are Unpredictable and Sporadic; Here’s Where People are Expected to Gather on Thursday


Photo by E. Chen of a protest passing West End and 69th Street this week.

By Michael McDowell

Several readers have asked us for information on the location of protests in the city—either to join or perhaps avoid them.

These protests are a decentralized response to the death of George Floyd. It’s not always clear where protestors will be, or where they are going, but groups are often found in Union Square, Washington Square, Foley Square, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and more recently, outside Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side. There have also been marches up and down Central Park West, Columbus, Amsterdam, Broadway, and West End Avenue.

One Instagram account to follow for the latest about the protests is @justiceforgeorgenyc, which aggregates (but is not organizing) the protests. The person or people who maintain the account have not responded to messages from the Rag.

The following events are listed for Thursday:

Memorial Service March for George Floyd, led by his brother, Terrence Floyd. Cadman Plaza (Brooklyn), 1pm

Gracie Mansion, at 2:30pm (meet at 1:30pm)

Let Us Breathe, 163 W. 125th Street, at 3pm

Union Square, at 4pm

Carl Schurz Park, at 7pm

Closer to home, a memorial for George Floyd will be held on Saturday at 3 at the Fourth Universal Society, on 76th Street and Central Park West.

“We’ll also be holding a vigil in front of the church this Saturday at 3pm in honor of George Floyd and the many others who have lost their lives,” a minister told the Rag.

Readers are cautioned that protests are unpredictable, and those who choose to attend may be subject to arrest. Some protesters have been held for hours and even days in cramped cells without masks. Attending also raises your risk of catching or spreading Covid-19. Although the majority of protests have been peaceful, a single thrown water bottle can be a catalyst for violence. The below thread from a New York Times reporter explains how things can get scary in a hurry.

Those who choose to disobey an 8pm – 5am citywide curfew, which is in effect through Sunday, could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. After 8pm, CitiBike is not available; neither are taxis, Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services. At some protests, the NYPD has reportedly blocked entrances to subways for those who are attempting to return to their homes before curfew.

NEWS | 47 comments | permalink
    1. ProtonMan says:

      Not only are these protests unpredictable they are also down right dangerous with regard to reversing the progress we have made by staying socially distant and at home. So, yeah I guess all of these people decided that the pandemic is over….

      • Jane says:

        Oh they didn’t just spontaneously “decide” anything. The media narrative changed overnight (from “gathering in groups is selfish” to “mass protests are noble and righteous”) and like obliging sheep the masses followed it.

      • Honest Abe says:

        I mean the police only kill about 1,000 people a year.

      • Marc says:

        The biggest civil rights event since the the 1960’s has arrived and you think people are going to say.. “Oh well i guess we can all just march on Zoom because of a virus that kills less than 1% of the people that get it..” LOL!!!

        What color is the sky in the little world you live in?

    2. B says:

      There is also a nightly peaceful protest against the curfew, the event on Facebook is titled “Outdoor Moment of Silent Resistance at Curfew.”

      Here’s an excerpt of the text from the event page:

      At 8:01, we will stand outside our doors for 9 minutes in memory of the 9 minutes George Floyd was slowly killed by police. You can bang pots and pans, or stand silently, or take a knee—whatever feels right to you.

    3. UWS Satire says:

      Do you have any information for looters? It is getting more and more difficult to know where we should report to smash windows, start fires, and steal expensive merchandise?
      Thank you.

    4. Wise Neighbor says:

      “…a single thrown water bottle can be a catalyst for *police* violence.”

      I fixed it for you. Please update your article ASAP.

      • Tired of Violence says:

        How about, don’t throw things at cops? Then there is no violence.

        • Honest Abe says:

          How about the cops stop brutalizing protestors? How about they stop putting people at risk of COVID by locking them up for trivial violations?

          • Tired of Violence says:

            How about don’t violate curfew? We can go round on round on this. Protest by day, so we can restore some peace by night, so we can have civil conversations on how to move forward together as one city. The unrest is not good for anyone, including those they are protesting on behalf of.

            • Sarah says:

              Tired of violence? Take it up with the cops. How much footage of them wilding do you need to see?

    5. Chris says:

      So we are not allowed to go to church but the protesters are, thanks to or Democratic representatives. I guess they did not cause enough damage on the upper west side yesterday. We will see what they loot this weekend.

    6. Dina says:

      May those out protesting have their voices heard and be safe! We should all be speaking up. I have heard that all of the marches down West End have been peaceful!

      • Woody says:

        The protest march down WEA was illegal as there was a curfew in place.

        I saw thousands of people marching Monday night. Even for the sake of argument let’s assume 99% of the protesters were peaceful 1% of people who weren’t peaceful could still cause a lot of damage.

        There was a legitimate reason for the curfew.

    7. Jan says:

      Thanks so much for this pertinent info. Especially. for parents of children who would not think.

    8. anonymous says:

      citibike has started shutting down prior to curfew, last night it stopped at 6pm

    9. Bob Lamm says:

      Thanks for all this information and advice.

    10. UWSer says:

      We participated in the march down Broadway on Tuesday around 1pm, joining near Columbia and following to 59th St. It was peaceful and powerful.

    11. Beattie says:

      the pandemic is over! woo-hoo!

    12. UWSdr says:

      Just back from a protest outside Gracie Mansion. Everyone masked and giving each other space. I think the covid fears are largely overblown around here. I also note that the Holy Name of Jesus on 96 Street is open a lot, so not sure what people are talking abut that churches are closed.

    13. Marie Bissmann says:

      There is a dangerous condition in Riverside z Park @ the West 72 St staircase that leads to the waterfront. The outside north wall is pulling away from the foundation. You can actually see that the wall is bowing. It is an accident waiting to happen. I spoke to some park ranger enforcement officers about the condition but there is no response.Help!

    14. Rob G. says:

      Thank you NYPD for putting your lives on the line for our safety. Don’t let the radicals get you down!

    15. Madelon Holder says:

      I have an idea that might work for people who want to protest but don’t feel safe doing this in a crowd. My son said people are doing this in Portland Oregon. Go stand ( or sit) on your street corner with a sign expressing your message. You can do it with a friend 6 feet apart. It’s gratifying to get thumbs up or horn honking.

    16. oldtimeUWSer says:

      I support the cause of the peaceful protest but to lock down seniors for over 2 months, then allow superspreader events that could make their sacrifice in vain is pretty insulting to those who have followed the rules. Where are our local officials on that, do they just want to lock down seniors a few more weeks in case there’s another spike in infections now? Send them to infected nursing homes and triage whoever is left? What is the plan?

    17. nycityny says:

      I happened upon a protest march at around 6:45pm Thursday night. I followed it starting at 72nd & Broadway. It went east to CPW and then turned left and went north. I followed until 77th St and then deviated away.

      There were about 1,000 people participating and interestingly, at least 75% were white. Almost all were young and they were not social distancing.

      The march had police “escorts” in front as well as behind. Everything was peaceful with no conflict.

    18. 92nd Street says:

      The point of the Curfew is to remove all law abiding citizens from the streets, so the NYPD can deal with the Looters and ANTIFA Gangs that have destroyed portions of the City. The Protestors unwittingly give camouflage to these criminals during the marches.

      Stay inside after 8PM, let the NYPD do the most dangerous job in the City without having to worry about you getting in the way.

      • Ryan says:

        The point of the curfew is to make all law abiding peaceful citizens criminals at 8:01 pm so you can be arrested without the cops bothering to figure out something to charge you with.

        Want to go walk down to the river to see the sunset? Congratulations, you now face a Class B misdemeanor and can be held indefinitely before you are charged thanks to the suspension of habeas corpus.

        “Oh but they won’t do that to me” This week they won’t, but first it was 11 pm, then they stopped all inbound traffic to NYC, and now they may start searching outbound traffic. How quick some folks are to give away their hard-fought rights.

        (And, for the record, this country was basically built on the destruction of the cargo of an East India Company tea ship. All we want to do is kneel in the street in front of the Mayor’s mansion)

        • nycityny says:

          Very well put, Ryan. Kudos!

        • Rob G. says:

          And what about the rights of a hard-working shopkeeper who should be able to sleep at night without fearing that his life’s work might be burned down or looted by “peaceful” protesters? In your world, must everyone be punished for the deeds of a few?