(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

This year’s Fourth of July celebrations brought more fireworks, picnics and Black Lives Matter protests to the city’s streets. As demonstrations against police brutality sweep the country and the coronavirus continues to claim thousands of Black and Brown lives, many people refused to take part in acts of patriotism and celebrate the United States this year.

Over the six weeks that have passed since George Floyd’s murder, demonstrations in New York City have become less issue or person-specific and have grown to encompass the overall liberation of black lives. While protests have decreased in number, those that are still being carried out are hosted by a dedicated coalition of activists and draw larger, cross-sectional crowds. 

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