Thanksgiving parade: At least seven #StopTheParade protesters arrested in demonstrations over Michael Brown shooting

Protesters organised their demonstration over social media in the days running up to the annual parade

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The Independent US

At least seven people have been arrested in New York today for allegedly attempting to disrupt the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, in protest over a grand jury’s decision not to charge white Police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

In the days running up to Thanksgiving, social media users enraged by the verdict posted their plans to use the high-profile event to maintain international focus on the events in Ferguson. 

An unnamed group based in New York working in solidarity with organisations in Ferguson were among those planning on using the parade to draw attention to their protests.

But a post on the "#BlackLiveMatter Flash Mob" Facebook event explained: "We are not interrupting the march, we are making a statement in the crowds. However, this is a HIGHLY POLICED event. NYPD acts as parade security, so be aware, and understand we are not posting all details to the web."

It continued: "We do not accept state violence or genocide as cause for celebration,” appearing to refer to the genocide of Native Americans in the US at the time of the first Thanksgiving.

"When the masses gather for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, we will gather to remind the public that BLACK LIVES MATTER."

The event went on to invite people to congregate at the public library for a flash mob, and to bring concealable cardboard and marker pens to make posters, Mail Online reported.

On Thursday, New York Police Detective Annette Markowski said details on the arrests, including the charges, were not immediately available.

Demonstrators using the 'Black Lives Matter' slogan also remembered other young black men killed by police recently, including Eric Garner, who was allegedly approached by the New York Police Department, put in a chokehold and killed earlier this year.

Protests also spanned across social media, with doctored photos of Pokemon character Pikachu and children’s character Hello Kitty holding “Black Lives Matter” and “demilitarize the police” signs spreading across Twitter.

The arrests come after thousands of protesters chanting “No justice! No peace!” marched in New York on Tuesday, after prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision, with demonstrations continuing into Wednesday.

Overseas, protesters held up banners reading “Solidarity with Ferguson” and “Black Lives Matter” outside the US Embassy in London.

Additional reporting by AP

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