This Memorial Day, while most people lazed around at barbecues, the activist group Peoples Power Assemblies staged a protest in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement on the beach at Coney Island. The visually striking demonstration used black towels with chalk body outlines as tributes to “those who cannot come to the beach today because they have been murdered by forces who claim to protect us,” as the group said in a statement.
Cardboard gravestones stuck in the sand were printed with the stories of Michael Brown, Eric Gray, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, and 14 other people of color recently killed by cops. “Stop Killing Black People,” read a 45-foot banner held by a group of protesters on the boardwalk.
— Keegan Stephan (@KeeganNYC) May 25, 2015
“Memorial Day is a holiday to remember those lost in wars waged abroad. Today we disrupt the traditional Memorial Day festivities on Coney Island to draw attention to the countless lives lost at home to the war police wage on communities of color every day,” the group said. “The systematic murder of our brothers and sisters of color at the hands of the state will no longer be accepted. As of May 23, 2015, 448 people have been killed by police this year. Every 21 hours a Black man, woman, or child is murdered by a police officer, security guard or vigilante. Our demand is simple: Stop Killing Black People.”
Below, see some of the most powerful images of the protest posted on social media.
— Imani Henry (@imanihenry) May 25, 2015
— Bruja☆Ankalli (@BrujaRebel) May 26, 2015