From A World to Win News Service:The following is mainly based on articles in the 26 October issue of Revolution (revcom.us), newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party, U.SA.
Three days of actions to demand an end to police terror ended with a march of thousands of people through the streets of
The actions began on 22 October in Times Square, the symbolic centre of
That afternoon, several hundred people gathered and marched in the
Other National Day of Protest actions were held in
On 23 October, about a hundred demonstrators joined 17 people who blocked the entrance to the city's notorious Rikers Island prison, "a torture chamber and debtors' prison" where thousands of people are held for months and years – an average of 14,000 people on any given night – often because they can't afford to post a cash bond to be released while awaiting trial for petty charges. They chanted, "Rikers, Rikers, shut it down" and the name of Kalief Browder, a 16 year-old kept in solitary confinement for more than two years for allegedly stealing a backpack. Tortured by guards, he committed suicide after getting out. In front of the people holding the sit-in were enlarged pictures of people murdered by police, including 11 who died on
The following day's march through
West, a prominent theologian, activist and revolutionary Christian, as he calls himself, challenged people: "When you love folks, you hate that they’re being mistreated!" Playwright Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) declared, "I am tired of living in a country where state violence has created a terror state for Black and Brown people, it is unacceptable!"
Scores of family members and representatives of victims of police murder led thousands of other people as they marched uptown. All along they shared their pain and outrage and challenged everyone to fight. People defied police attacks that seized five people near the end of the march. A contingent of several hundred youth and others took the message into
The #Say her name! contingent carried posters of women murdered by police and prison authorities. Pictures of faces of those murdered by police were everywhere, on signs and banners —calling out for justice and an end to the horror. Unitarians demanded justice, and LGBT activists denounced sadistic police brutality that targets transgender people. There was a striking mix of all nationalities, and representatives of people around the world. There was a sea of signs: "Rise up! Stop police terror!" The Revolution Club both called for and served as an example of "Fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution." A chant erupted up and down
Students came from around the country. A graduate student and teacher told Revolution, "They’re killing my students with slow genocide." Youth and others came from the communities of the oppressed, from the East, South and Midwest as well as
Unitarian-Universalists (a Protestant group) came from the better-off Upper West Side of
At the end of the march, Dix declared, "You should feel good about what you did but not so good you're ready to go home, pat yourself on the back, and go back to normal, because normal is the police murdering people, especially Black and Latino and Native people. We have been acting to stop it and it goes forward from today."
West and Dix have now called for organizing meetings to plan more actions against police murder, including on three dates in late November and early December. "Brothers and sisters, fellow resisters," their statement said, "You are beautiful. You have straightened your backs and can inspire millions of others. The spirit of Rise Up must go forward – and that spirit needs to be made manifest in struggle and organization."
Pix from www.internationalist.org.