Sophie Jane Evans, Daily Mail, January 4, 2015
Dozens of demonstrators today stormed restaurants and targeted white diners in New York and California as part of a ‘Black Brunch’ protest against alleged police violence.
Carrying banners, the chanting protesters entered a number of venues in New York City that they identified as ‘white spaces’, including midtown eateries: Lallisse, Maialino and Pershing Square.
Once inside, they ‘disrupted’ customers’ meals by reading out the names of African-Americans killed by police, including Michael Brown, 17, who was shot dead by officer Darren Wilson last August.
Addressing staff and patrons, they shouted: ‘Every 28 hours, a black person in America is killed by the police. These are our brothers and sisters. Today and every day, we honor their lives.’
In each restaurant, they also asked diners to stand and raise their fists in the air ‘for black life’, according to Yahoo! News. At several venues, ‘a good number’ of customers apparently did so.
Throughout the day, many of the three dozen protesters–who also targeted ‘predominantly white’ restaurants in Oakland, California–posted photos of the ‘Black Brunch’ demonstration online.
This afternoon, the hashtag #BlackBrunch was trending in the U.S..
Although the demonstration has been largely peaceful–with no arrests made–there have been several reports of protesters getting into heated discussion with staff and customers.
According to protester Camila Ibanez, Belgian restaurant Resto in New York City tried to silence the demonstration by raising the volume of the venue’s music.