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Nov 25, 2014 5:20 PM

2nd day of rallies across US after Ferguson news

The Associated Press

People protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision took to the streets in some U.S. cities for a second day Tuesday, even as others were still cleaning up vandalism from the night before.

Protesters disrupted traffic for several hours in downtown St. Louis by blocking major intersections, an interstate highway and a Mississippi River bridge connecting the city to Illinois.

Riot police arrested several demonstrators who sat in the middle of Interstate 44 near the Edward Jones Dome. They used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

In Seattle, hundreds of students walked out of high school classes and rallied at the University of Washington or marched to the downtown federal courthouse.

The night before, demonstrators in the city threw canned food, bottles and rocks after marching peacefully for hours. Police responded with pepper spray and flash-bang grenades, and arrested five people.

Renewed plans for marches and rallies in Oakland, California, came as officials were still cleaning up after scores of people hurled bottles, broke windows, set small fires and vandalized a police car.

At least 40 people were arrested in Monday night's melee that escalated after some protesters shut down traffic on a major highway in the San Francisco Bay Area. A police spokeswoman said several officers were injured, but she did not elaborate.

Elsewhere nationwide, demonstrators were mostly law-abiding Monday night, leading marches, waving signs and shouting chants of "hands up, don't shoot," a refrain that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country.

In New York, a man was arrested for throwing a jar full of fake blood that struck Police Commissioner William Bratton and his security detail.

Activists had planned protests even before the nighttime announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in 18-year-old Michael Brown's shooting death. The racially charged case in Ferguson has inflamed tensions and reignited debates over police-community relations even in cities hundreds of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.

Rallies were planned Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey; Portland, Maine; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and elsewhere. In the nation's capital, one group lay on the ground to stage a "die-in" in front of Metro police headquarters. The group planned to occupy various buildings in the district over 28 hours.

"Mike Brown is an emblem (of a movement). This country is at its boiling point," said Ethan Jury, a protester in Philadelphia, where hundreds marched. "How many people need to die? How many black people need to die?"

In Los Angeles, demonstrations remained mostly small and peaceful, but about 200 people marching toward downtown briefly shut down Interstate 110, City News Service reported.

After midnight, officers wearing riot gear fired hard-foam projectiles into the ground to disperse about 50 protesters downtown, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday there were no injuries and no property damage during hours-long demonstrations across LA. Three people were arrested.

After a night of rallies in Chicago, dozens of protesters upset with the grand jury's decision camped out at the doors of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office inside City Hall and planned to remain there throughout the day and overnight. They were holding teach-ins on political issues and "healing circles" for people to discuss experiences with violence in Chicago.

In New York, mostly peaceful protesters swarmed through traffic, closely trailed by police, as they marched to Times Square for a rally.

Another crowd of several hundred continued north up Columbus Avenue on Manhattan's Upper West Side shouting "Don't shoot!"

They were flanked by police on foot and in vehicles with their lights flashing. The activists stopped traffic for more than a dozen blocks.

Police said protesters briefly shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the three spans of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, formerly known as the Triborough Bridge.


Associated Press writers Olga R. Rodriguez in San Francisco; Tami Abdollah in Los Angeles; Sean Carlin in Philadelphia; Deepti Hajela in New York; and Joshua Lederman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.


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