Seven protesters were arrested near the route of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City today. The arrests came amid rumblings on social media about disrupting the parade and Black Friday to protest a Missouri grand jury’s decisions not to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown to death.
An estimated 50 protesters gathered a block away from the parade route at the New York Public Library. Several people were arrested when they started trying to interrupt the parade, including vandalizing, breaking windows and knocking over barricades, police said.
The parade was not interrupted, and the rest of the protesters returned to the library where they are now "peacefully" protesting, according to police.
“We will not tolerate, under any circumstances, any effort to disrupt this parade,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said before the arrests. “This is a national event, a historic event. Anybody who would seek to interrupt it would be callous, indeed, on this very special day.”
Hashtags such as #stoptheparade were trending this morning. The NYPD was aware of the Internet conversations calling for demonstrations on Thanksgiving, Bratton said.
On a larger scale, a movement to boycott Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday has been gaining steam on social media, asking people to sit out Thanksgiving and Black Friday events to protest the grand jury's decision to not charge Officer Darren Wilson for killing the unarmed teen.