Yesterday night, close to 1,000 people marched from Washington Square Park in response to the white supremacist violence witnessed against Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis 4th Precinct and the protests in response to the police murder of teen Laquan McDonald. The police charged against the protesters and arrested some of them. Among the arrested was RSCC-NYC comrade Javal, an energetic student leader, member of the BMCC’s Students Without Borders chapter. Not being able to proof anything against our comrade, he was freed with a summons that same night.
For the rest of the march, the police kept harassing the people who had come out in response to the violence being waged against their communities: police in motorcycles kept corralling protesters into the sidewalk, but even then, police kept grabbing people from the sidewalk. Several protesters walked out with various injuries. However, the blatant repression displayed that night did not deter the protesters who kept marching toward Union Square, and then to Times Square.
The rising Black Lives Matter movement hit a peak last year in the city after the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. In both occasions, their murderers walked free which sparked a series of protests and movements throughout the country. But even while the marches have diminished, people in different schools, communities, and organizations keep the movement alive by actively organizing against police brutality.
Slowly, the people are realizing that the problem does not lie in a few bad apples in the police force. More people now see that it is not enough to call for economic boycotts, better laws or simply punishment for the individual officers that commit murders. Many now realize that the police are the armed thugs of the capitalist state that maintains its rule by waging war against the working class. In a white supremacist society such as the US, the police also maintain the oppression against Black communities. This means that the only way our communities can see an end to this brutality is if they actively organize against the repressive state and fight for control of their neighborhoods and their institutions.
In CUNY, this resistance takes many different forms. Among them is the CUNY Prison Divestment Campaign which calls for an end to CUNY’s investment’s in private detention centers and private prisons, as well as the removal of Public Safety from all campuses. We see that Public Safety as a force that follows the commands of the CUNY administration against the interest of the student body and their communities. Whenever we rally against tuition hikes or the hiring of war criminals like David Petraeus, Public Safety was there with the NYPD to protect the interest of the administration and repress student activism. We want a security force controlled and composed by members of the community.
Let’s continue carrying out this fight for our communities. One highlight of the march is that no one says “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” anymore. People have come to realize that the way we resist against state oppression is not by appealing to the morality of those tasked with oppressing us, but calling for unity against the oppressor and rallying our community to fight back.
We won’t be deterred by police brutality!
Solidarity with people of Minneapolis and Chicago!
Fist Up! Fight back!