Update 7:30 p.m. —

Protests in downtown Ithaca held Thursday evening drew hundreds of people outraged by police violence and two recent national grand jury decisions not to indict white police officers.

No arrests were reported. Several streets had to be blocked off at different times, but protesters were peaceful as they chanted, sang and mourned what they called the prevalence of racism in America.

Here’s a photo compilation from the event from Ithaca Voice Director of Video Advertising Michael Blaney:

UPDATE 5:40 p.m. —

The protesters marched down to City Hall after leaving Aurora Street.

No arrests have been reported. Several streets have been closed in the downtown area as Ithaca police officers redirect traffic.

The Ithaca Police Department said on its Facebook page:

“Traffic is congested and backed up on North Aurora Street from the city line through the downtown area. Please avoid the area.”

(Sara Karlson/IthacaVoice)

From The Voice’s Sara Karlson, who is at the scene of the protests:

Ithaca, N.Y. — About 50 people are lying down on Aurora Street outside of Viva Tacqueria in Ithaca Thursday afternoon as part of a protest against police violence around the country.

Why I shop downtown — Marty

[fvplayer src=”https://vimeo.com/112409991″ loop=”true” mobile=”https://vimeo.com/112409991″]

“When there is no peace, we take it to the streets,” some chanted. “Join us on the ground.”

The protesters held candles and Ithaca police officers worked to redirect traffic in the area.

An event posted about on the United Against Hate Facebook group called for awareness over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, black men who were both killed by police officers.

Here’s what the press release announcing the protest said:

Why should the people of Ithaca be able to aimlessly shop and distract themselves from the blatant racist annihilation of young African Americans in this country TODAY? We are organizing to stop traffic, make noise, and bring much needed awareness to the tragic and unlawful murders of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown and especially tonight Eric Garner, killed by an illegal choke hold used by NYPD in his arrest. Please do your best to be prepared to sit in the busiest intersection of The Commons for an indefinite amount of time. The goal of this organized sit in is to disrupt the comfortable…

Stay with us for updates from the protest.

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.