East Side Protest
People took to the streets across the country on Sunday night in protest of the Zimmerman trial verdict, and the Upper East Side was no exception. In fact, it was the location for all seven arrests that the NYPD made during the seven-hour, 100-block protest march from Times Square to Harlem in 90-degree heat. At around 10 PM some 200 demonstrators could be seen and heard coming up Park Avenue with almost as many policemen trailing behind them. Though they did not have a permit for the protests or for disrupting traffic by walking in the streets, the protesters continued to declare that it was a nonviolent march. Along the way, they kept changing between chants of "No Justice, No Peace" and "Who do we want? Trayvon Martin." When they reached the restaurant blocks in the 70s on Third Avenue, they broke up their routine to invite diners to "Put down your drinks and join us. This is not a spectator sport." A few residents did follow them but whether in support or in curiosity is unclear. Policemen for the most part did not intervene until they reached East 79th Street and Second Avenue, where they were hoping to disperse the marchers but instead started a scuffle leading to the arrests of two men. Some demonstrators maintained that the police grew more forceful because they were approaching Mayor Bloomberg's townhouse on East 79th Street between Madison and Fifth. But protesters never reached his street.
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