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‘There’s Going to Be More Demands’: What’s Next for N.Y. Protests

‘There’s Going to Be More Demands’: What’s Next for N.Y. Protests

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have poured onto city streets for the last month. They have marched hundreds of miles, closed bridges, shut down highways and, most recently, taken up residence outside City Hall, calling for the police budget to be slashed.

In the chaotic first days of the city’s protests demanding police reform, police cars were set on fire, stores were looted, and officers laid into crowds of peaceful protesters with batons and pepper spray.

But now, marches, vigils and rallies have settled in as a part of the city’s daily life, one already turned upside down by the global coronavirus outbreak. The protest groups are smaller, the cheers softer. But daily, a corps of hundreds has continued to turn out.

Protests have been planned at least through June, and organizers and participants said they expected the energy to continue months after the death of George Floyd, the black man whose killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers first spurred protests in May.

“Do I have anxiety about the movement dissipating and stalling? Of course,” said Nelini Stamp, 32, who said she had been protesting almost every day since late May. “But here’s the thing: I’ve never seen this in my life. Days and days of sustained protests.”

More than a month since the protests first began, as police reforms begin in New York and cities across the country, the question has loomed for marchers and those who watch them: Now what?

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