Protests spread all over the city on Thursday evening as around 200 activists were arrested participating in various actions in response to the Eric Garner grand jury decision. While protesters were jamming the Brooklyn Bridge and flooding Foley Square, another group was protesting on the Upper West Side and Harlem. That included a group of rabbis who did a sit-in blocking traffic at 96th Street, while they recited the Mourner's Kaddish over the names of dead black individuals who had been killed by NYC cops.
Altogether, 27 people were arrested at this particular protest, including Rabbis Sharon Kleinbaum, Jill Jacobs, David Rosenn and Shai Held, along with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers. "When a situation isn't just, we must speak out," said Weingarten in a statement. "That's what Jewish leaders did last night. In the case of Eric Garner, it is hard to reconcile the evidence we see in the video and the coroner's report with the grand jury decision. More than this one case, though, we need to transform this nation so that every life is deeply respected and valued. I am proud I could stand with rabbis in making that statement last night."
You can see video of it below:
Jacobs described it as a "religious act" highlighting "the dignity of every single human being" to Huffington Post: "As Jews, we believe that every human being is a creation in the image of God. We must then protest when the people charged with protecting us see some of our lives as dispensable," she said in a statement.