By 10:30 AM on Saturday there was a large and rapidly growing crowd getting organized in Washington Square Park. Some people were passing out literature, asking for petitions to be signed, others were headed to the chapel in Judson Memorial Church. This was part of a series of protests called Rise Up October; though speakers included Cornel West and Quentin Tarantino, the real stars here were the dozens of families of victims of police violence who had come to New York to march for an end to state-sponsored terror.
As we marched north up Sixth Avenue to Bryant Park, the hundreds of protesters stretched out over several city blocks. The NYPD created some confusion with an impromptu location change of the second rally, attempting to guide the large crowd away from Bryant Park to Madison Avenue, cutting some protesters off from the main group (arresting seven) while the main contingent broke through the detour and reunited on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street. Taking turns speaking from the back of a truck rigged with loudspeakers while a NYPD helicopter hovered above, members of the families shared their experiences as well as their demands for justice. Once the permit expired, a fraction of the once-massive march continued on to Times Square.
By then, tensions between the protesters and police were rising. A woman was arrested for climbing on a sculpture, as was a man who was standing on a bench with his daughter on his shoulders (the protesters afterward helped the daughter reunite with her mother). After some chanting and a song about the victims of police terror, the rally ended and the crowd dispersed.
Peter Voelker is a photographer and frequent VICE contributor based in NYC. You can follow his work here.