Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Demonstrators gather along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 15, 2014, to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

As millions across the country gather to bid adieu to 2014, several activist groups nationwide continue with their mission to end police brutality and are urging demonstrators to gather for peaceful protests on New Year's Eve.

Marked by a year of unarmed black men, women and children being beaten or killed by white police officers with seeming impunity, protesters began gathering, shouting, rallying and demanding that injustice against the black community be stopped. Spurred by the tragic deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, Tamir Rice and others, a strong social media activism emerged in the wake of these deadly police encounters as folks began using the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to encourage those who support the movement to stand in solidarity.


And many don't want the momentum created for social change to be lost in the drunkenness and good spirits of ringing in the new year. So they will march on.

Spearheading the movement is the New York-based organization the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, which, according to several reports, will have as many as 4,000 protesters gathered at 9 p.m. at New York's Union Square for what the group has billed as "Rock in the New Year With Resistance to Police Murder." According to the group's Facebook page, the plan is to march from Union Square "directly into the spectacle of Times Square." 


"It's fitting that the NYE celebration takes place in Times Square —'Crossroads of the World' because we are at a crossroad in the struggle for freedom," reads a statement from the group's Facebook page. "Now is the time, as groups of human rights activists and fighters against oppression of all kinds, to take collective action on the grandest of stages!"

In Boston, activists are planning to protest at the city's First Night festivities, featuring, according to ABC News, "ice sculptures, musical acts, and fireworks … on the same street where two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the Boston Marathon April 15, 2013."


According to the activist group’s First Night Against Police Violence Facebook page, protesters will "meet at the Boston Public Library and to eventually join the Grand Processions Parade of floats." Demonstrators are also planning to stage a mass die-in, which Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is concerned may upset many of the children gathered to take part in the event.    

"We're going to accommodate the protesters if they choose to do so. But we will not let it disrupt the events," Evans said at a City Hall news conference Monday, according to ABC News.


In other cities across the country, there are planned protests around scheduled New Year's Eve events. Protesters in Atlanta will use the Peach Drop as their platform. A Michigan-based activist group is planning New Years: Not One More and has yet to decide if the protest will be held during the New Year's Fest in downtown Kalamazoo on New Year's Eve, according to MLive.

Other demonstrations are being staged in Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis and other cities, according to several reports.


One of the activists who helped plan the Michigan protest asked potential demonstrators to learn these lyrics, posted to the group's Facebook page:

I can hear my neighbor crying: I can't breathe
Now I'm in the struggle and I can't leave
Calling out the violence of the racist police
We ain't gonna stop, til people are free
We ain't gonna stop, til people are free

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