Cleveland police had to use pepper spray against activists attending the national convention of the Movement for Black Lives. Scuffles and arrests were reported after the weekend conference wrapped-up and people poured onto the streets
Hundreds of activists from across the nation gathered at Cleveland State University this weekend for the first national conference to discuss escalating tensions between US police and black communities.
Following the closing session on Sunday, as most of the attendees left, dozens of people remained in the streets. Police, apparently concerned by the crowd potentially blocking traffic, moved in to disperse the gathering.
“Cleveland looks just like Ferguson, looks just like Baltimore, looks just like all of these places that have high [levels of] oppression,” said local organizer Malaya Davis, as cited by cleveland.com. “We wanted to highlight that and bring some attention to what’s going on in this city and the state of Ohio as well.”
Among notable speakers attending the conference was the father of Michael Brown, shot and killed in Ferguson. The mother of Eric Garner, who died after a police choke hold in New York City, also attended, in addition to the mother of Tamir Rice.