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New Yorkers protesting in support of the Black Lives Matter movement were joined by a Marvel superhero as they marched across the Manhattan Bridge Tuesday night. Spider-Man appeared from on high, climbing a ledge created by one of the bridge's support columns. The moment was captured by Anya Volz, and the video has since been shared over 60,000 times on Twitter.
Speaking with SYFY WIRE, Volz says that it was filmed after "about an hour of us protesting and standing off with police." She adds: "I think cheering for Spider-Man holding a Black Lives Matter sign while scaling a wall was a welcome moment of levity among protesters. After days and nights of grief and outrage, [it was] a moment to feel united in the face of the police violence the protests have been met with night after night."
"I think it is important to note that the protestors were entirely peaceful," added Electra Telesford, who was also present on the bridge with Volz. "The police barred us from exiting the bridge on the Manhattan side, and we had cyclists-protestors serving as scouts. They made it clear that officers on the Brooklyn side intended to arrest us."
At the very start of the video, viewers can hear someone shout: "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us." As Spidey fans likely noticed, that's a reference to the bridge-set climax in Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man film, where Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) is pelted by debris thrown by a group of angry New Yorkers trying to protect a beaten Spider-Man.
"I am glad the video has reached so many people and brought many people the same kind of momentary relief from all the horrifying news, but I hope more than anything the reach this video has had has brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the top of more newsfeeds, and therefore to the forefront of more people's minds," Volz concludes.
Using the iconic web-slinger as a symbol of standing up for the innocent is a common thread of silk running through various New York residents who took to the streets dressed as Spider-Man to lend their support to the protests. That includes Naiquan Midyett (aka "CosPlayNay"), who's been attending the demonstrations decked out as Peter Parker and Miles Morales.
"Even though I am suited up, I am still a proud black man," Midyett, whose photo heads this article, tells us. "When I put on my Spider-Man uniform/mask, I want people to understand that I represent a symbol of hope. Black Lives Matter."
Check out more of Naiquan's photos in the gallery below:
Another Manhattan denizen taking up the heroic mantle of Marvel's web-slinger is Japneet Singh, aka "Spidey-Singh."
"We are all hurting right now," Singh says. "No matter the color of your skin, no matter where you come from and no matter what your goals are, everyone is hurting in [one] way or another. And Spider-Man has always embodied the real New York hero and someone who can bring the people together."