Story highlights

Philadelphia police clash with protesters backing Baltimore protests

Demonstrators in Jerusalem say they're inspired by U.S. protests

CNN —  

Across the world, demonstrators are taking to the streets to support Baltimore protesters and to complain about police brutality in their own towns. In the United States, the protests took place Thursday in Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

The protests will probably continue, at least into the weekend.

Demonstrations in Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Oakland, California, are scheduled for Friday, which is also May Day, or International Workers Day – often used to call attention to issues affecting the working class and minorities.

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Philadelphia

A protest started Thursday afternoon in front of city hall. Aerial video showed several hundred people gathered. As the crowd swelled, it moved toward Rittenhouse Square.

Police and protesters clashed about 7:45 p.m., apparently when the group tried to block the entrance to I-95. CNN’s Poppy Harlow reported police had said they would move against anybody who tried to do that.

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Aerial video showed uniformed officers grouping to push back demonstrators, many who held their hands in the air and chanted, “Hands up.”

“We just wanted to walk down the freeway,” one demonstrator told Harlow. “As soon as we walked up they started pushing us with their nightsticks and had their baton ready. They had their horses and all that other [stuff] they do trying to intimidate us. …

“We’re angry because of this system we’ve lived in forever. We want equality of justice.”

Police said two arrests were made. They estimated several hundred people participated at the demonstration’s peak.

According to tweets from CNN’s Lawrence Crook, protesters sat down in the middle of Broad Street, blocking traffic. Some protesters were arrested. Later the crowd marched to the federal prison building and chanted, “You are not alone.”

Harlow said inmates in the prison flicked their lights on and off in recognition.

“We want equality of justice,” one protester told Harlow.

Earlier in the evening, protesters surrounded a police car, but they didn’t rock the vehicle and police didn’t move on the crowd, philly.com reported. The crowd also stopped a public bus.

“There really have not been any major issues as they have continued to express their First Amendment rights and have marched throughout different parts of the city,” Mayor Michael Nutter told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “People want answers and justice. I understand that. Answers should be provided.”

Cincinnati

Hundreds gathered in downtown Cincinnati at Hamilton County Courthouse to show unity with the protesters of the Freddie Gray incident in Baltimore.

After listening to speakers, the group began marching toward Police District 1 Headquarters several blocks away.

Jerusalem

Several hundred people gathered Thursday to protest police brutality after a video surfaced showing two Tel Aviv officers beating an Israeli soldier.

The soldier was of Ethiopian origin, as were most of the demonstrators. CNN reporter Ian Lee said several demonstrators told him they were inspired by protests in the United States.

On Wednesday, demonstrations took place in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Washington, and Ferguson, Missouri.

New York

A police official said 143 people were arrested Wednesday night, mostly for blocking traffic and refusing to clear the street.

The protest started as several hundred people converged on Union Square for what was billed as an “NYC Rise up & Shut It down with Baltimore” rally.

A man is carried by police officers as arrests are made at New York's Union Square on Wednesday.
Craig Ruttle/AP
A man is carried by police officers as arrests are made at New York's Union Square on Wednesday.

New York police were out in force, pushing protesters back. Police used zip tie restraints on nearly two dozen people in the streets after a small scuffle.

The New York Police Department also handed out fliers and used loudspeakers to tell protesters and pedestrians to stay on the sidewalk.

“It came to a point where they had the loudspeakers going. They started making arrests quickly,” said CNN iReporter Michael Kande. “It was pretty crazy and hairy there for a bit.”

Demonstrators then moved through the city and had several shouting matches with police.

Washington

The mood seemed more festive than confrontational, with songs by Public Enemy like “Fight the Power” playing and sign-language interpreters translating the music and chants.

The mood there was almost festive, as songs by Public Enemy like “Fight the Power” played while sign-language interpreters translated the music and the chants. The protests moved to the White House, but didn’t disrupt traffic.

Eugene Puryear, the organizer of one of the groups involved in the protest, the DC Ferguson Movement, said the march was called to show solidarity with the residents of Baltimore and to bring attention to police brutality as a national issue.

Minneapolis and Denver

Several hundred people gathered in Gold Medal Park in Minneapolis for a rally organized by the group of #BlackLivesMatter. The Minneapolis group held similar events in the past in response to alleged police brutality across the country.

Violence broke out in downtown Denver on Wednesday night during a demonstration by about 100 people. Police in riot gear with military-style weapons and sticks used pepper spray on the crowd. Protesters said they were angry about police brutality around the country, including the case of Freddie Gray.

Shortly after 7 p.m. there was a minor scuffle in Civic Center Park. Police said they used force only after one of their officers was pushed to the ground. The Denver Post reported at least five protesters – including one whose face was bloodied – were arrested on the scene.

In all, 11 people were arrested. Charges included assault of a police officer, robbery, resisting police, disobedience to lawful orders, obstructing roadways and interference.

Ferguson

On Tuesday, violent protests took place in Ferguson, Missouri, where three people were shot, the city police reported.

Police said they didn’t do the shooting. A 20-year-old man was arrested and the three victims were in stable condition – two with wounds to the neck, one in the leg, police said.

Police said about 300 people marched, with protesters throwing rocks at police, damaging four police cars and setting trash and debris on fire near Northwinds Estates and West Florissant, police said.

Chicago

In Chicago, hundreds of protesters marched Tuesday from police headquarters at 35th and Michigan through the Southside, CNN affiliate WGN reported. Police made one arrest, for reckless conduct.

CNN’s Alexandra Field, Elizabeth Landers, Lorenzo Ferrigno and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.