More than 1,000 people gathered in New York City yesterday for a so-called “Day of Outrage” to commemorate the execution of Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis. Organized through Facebook, the rally began at Union Square, where demonstrators denounced the perceived failures of the justice system. Lee Wengraf is a board member with the Campaign to End the Death Penalty.
Lee Wengraf: “The struggle for Troy Davis has not just struck a chord, it has taken the lid off of the outrage that people feel about the depths of racism that surrounds the death penalty, the prison system, all the criminal justice, police brutality. And I think it’s that kind of energy and outrage that has kept Troy Davis, first of all, that kept him alive as long as it did and brought us so close to potentially winning this, that Troy Davis was someone that the whole world was watching over these past few days, and because of the way that people raised their voices and shouted out and said this must not stand, this is a legal lynching.”
The rally gave way to an impromptu march through the streets of Manhattan, gaining numbers along the way. The police responded with a heavy hand, lashing out at members of the press and arresting a number of people. The crowd eventually made its way to Zuccotti Park, otherwise known as “Liberty Plaza,” where hundreds have gathered over the last week as part of the “Occupy Wall Street” campaign. The combined demonstration marched to Wall Street, where another arrest was made. In the process, police officers pulled a young woman who was taking pictures over a barricade and threw her to the ground, where her head struck the concrete.