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Last Thursday, my wife and I attended one of the National Moment of Silence rallies that were held across the country to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and all other deaths from police brutality and overreach. This one was at Union Square in Manhattan. There was an immense, diverse crowd; the tone was angry and grieving, but peaceful.

Though I had been half-expecting the NYPD to show up in force, there was no show of strength by the police at the scene. (There was a token presence of four or five officers watching the protest.) After the rally had ended, a large fraction of the people present organized into a column and marched out into the city, ending up in Times Square, where there were a few arrests. We later found out that two different groups were at the scene, and that the marchers were from a separate group that hadn’t coordinated with the NMOS organizers.

We arrived early, when the crowd was just beginning to gather.

By 7:00, the crowd had grown to perhaps 500 people. Camera crews and reporters were watching as some of the organizers spoke.

Protest signs. I give a thumbs-up to the gentleman I saw with the “They Never Stop and Frisk Old White Guys Like Me” sign. Dishonorable mention to the white guy with the “Black Liberation Through Socialist Revolution” sign.

Wide shot of the crowd. At the height of the rally, I’m guessing there were between 3,000 and 5,000 people present.

A sea of raised hands, as a chant of, “Hands up, don’t shoot!” broke out.

DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...