National Moment of Silence held in Philly, dozens of U.S. cities

A 'National Moment of Silence' was held in more than 90 U.S. cities, including Philadelphia.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thousands of people across the country attended protest vigils Thursday, including in Philadelphia, for an unarmed black Missouri teenager fatally shot by a white police officer and for other victims who organizers say died as a result of police brutality.

The vigils, observed in more than 90 cities as part of a National Moment of Silence, came days after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the death of a New York man caused by a police officer's chokehold.

"We're all just so angry about what happened, it's not fair," said Rachel Bain of Northeast Philadelphia.

It comes in response to what many view as police brutality.

From Times Square to St. Louis to Washington D.C. to right here in Philadelphia, thousands across the nation took part in a grassroots movement called 'National Moment of Silence.'

The nationwide show of solidarity, remembered people who were slain by law enforcement, including most recently 18-year-old Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri.

"People are here because they are tired of our youth being shot down in the street, they are tired of them being second class citizens. What's the difference? The difference is race," said Jondhi Harrell, Center for Returning Citizens.

Hundreds gathered at Love Park on Thursday, bearing signs in honor of those lost.

They wore red ribbons in a show of solidarity and a list of names, those shot and killed by police or authority figures, was read aloud.

"It bothers me the level of what people have to put up with and what it seems like the olive are getting away and it's like a culture," said Craig Boyer.

Naidia James of Germantown made a point to be at the peace rally and bring 6-year-old Jalen

"I brought him so he can see what's going on. It could have been him. I don't think black life is valued in America," said James.

David Rose demonstrated by holding his hands up in the air.

It's symbolic, he says, of Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot multiple times.

"It's too much, it's just too much. It's not a black thing, it's not a white thing, we're Americans, it's just too much," said Rose.

The moment of silence then spontaneously turned into a peace march.

More than 100 people marched from Love Park to the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Even when the rain began to pour, they stayed the course, chanting 'Hands up! Don't shoot!' and 'We are Mike Brown,' proving that not even the weather could stop their message.

Organizers say as rallies continue to take place in Ferguson, more rallies can be expected in Philadelphia.
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