Hundreds of supporters gathered at a rally organized by Black Lives Matter on Wednesday evening at Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis to support those protesting the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. VIEW PHOTOS
The group does not support the rioting and looting that has scarred Baltimore, but stands "in solidarity with them and with their resistance, because their resistance is for justice and their justice is our justice."
As marchers headed west on Washington Avenue, Minneapolis police temporarily shut down 10th and Washington as a precaution. They continued toward 3rd Avenue S., over the Hennepin Avenue bridge from Washington (in rather picturesque fashion looking toward the iconic Grain Belt sign) and into northeast Minneapolis, stopped at 2nd Street NE for a bit around 8:30 p.m. and continued north on Hennepin Avenue -- peacefully, police said.
Just after 8:30, marchers arrived at a Neighborhoods Organizing for Change fundraiser for a live performance by Brother Ali.
Rebuilding the block
Following the demonstration, Black Lives Matter will join Neighborhoods Organizing for Change at a fundraiser to help rebuild their West Broadway office that was destroyed by a fire on April 15.
"NOC is more than a building. We're a movement," the organization said in a statement after the fire. "We ask the community to support our neighbors at this difficult time. We can receive donations at https://mnnoc.nationbuilder.com/residentrebuild. We appreciate the outpouring of support. We will rebuild. We will continue the work. Onward and upward."
CITY ON EDGE: Photos from Baltimore
Baltimore streets previously rocked by riots were quiet early Wednesday as residents obeyed an all-night curfew enforced by 3,000 police and National Guardsmen. The curfew, which went into effect at 10 p.m. Tuesday, got off to a not-so-promising start, however, as about 200 protesters initially ignored the warnings of police officers and the pleas of community activists to disperse.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said 2,000 National Guardsmen and 1,000 law enforcement officers provided support to the city Tuesday night.
Obama: Deaths ‘no excuse' for violence and riots
President Obama called the deaths of several black men at the hands of police "a slow-rolling crisis," but said there was "no excuse" for the violence in Baltimore, and that the looters should be treated as criminals.
Freddie Gray's death
Gray was arrested on April 12 after making eye contact with officers and then running away, police said. He was held down, handcuffed and loaded into a van without a seat belt. Leg cuffs were put on him when he became irate inside.
He asked for medical help several times even before being put in the van, but paramedics were not called until after a 30-minute ride. Police have acknowledged he should have received medical attention on the spot where he was arrested, but they have not said how he suffered a serious spine injury. He died April 19.