Hands Off Noche! Drop All the Charges!

April 14, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The following was written by a Revolution reader in New York:


The police in New York City have stopped more 5 million people in the last nine years, nearly 90 percent Black and Latino. Take a minute and think about that, 5 million people.

Now think about this from an interview with Noche Diaz in 2012:

“Some of you out there have never been stopped and frisked, and maybe you don’t know what it actually means, what it means to be a young person coming up in New York City or maybe you know some people and you’ve heard these stories. But people need to actually know what happens every day, 1,900 times or more. Maybe you’re coming home from school, maybe you’re going to school, maybe you’re going to work, or coming home. You’re minding your own business; you’re going about your day and suddenly some cop steps to you. They grab you, they throw you up against the wall, they turn out your pockets and if you speak back you risk being thrown in jail and spending the whole night locked up and facing charges and a case, maybe having to miss school, or maybe having to miss work which you can’t afford to do. And your whole life begins to be dominated by the fact that at any moment when you walk the street, some cop can step to you and mess up your whole day, your whole week and the rest of your life....

“I’m on trial in Manhattan, facing up to four years in prison, precisely because when these kinds of things go down I don’t walk by and I don’t let it happen in silence, I don’t let people get violated without someone speaking up for them. I’ve been standing up for these youth for years. And I’ve been targeted for my role in doing that. But what’s important for you to know is that you can actually be a part of beating back these attacks on people who stand up for the people and for the youth. And so I invite everybody to join us... ” (Read the full interview, “‘Noche’ Diaz: Facing Prison for Standing Up for the Youth,” September 16, 2012, at revcom.us.)

Noche Diaz is a young revolutionary leader; he is a member of the Revolution Club in New York City, which has stepped up to the responsibility to lead and organize others to make real the slogans of the Revolution Club—“Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism” and “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.” The powers-that-be have targeted Noche to make an example of him, trying to send a message that people who stand up to their brutality and expose their illegitimate use of authority will be punished. They want Noche off the streets. Even more, they don’t want Noche, and others like him, to rise up as conscious emancipators of humanity, leading a whole new generation to become part of the movement for revolution.

Noche has been arrested five times since October 2011 and has had 11 charges piled on him in four New York City boroughs, all for observing and protesting the illegitimate actions of the NYPD. Noche was one of the first members of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and helped organize protests that kicked off a citywide struggle against stop-and-frisk. He is well-known to the people—and to the NYPD—for being a member of the People’s Neighborhood Patrol of Harlem. Noche was arrested two times as part of organized protests against stop-and-frisk at Brooklyn’s 73rd precinct and Queens’ 103rd precinct. In the three other arrests, Noche was observing what the police were doing to people—which he has every right to do.

In October 2011, people marched to the 28th precinct in Harlem demanding an end to stop-and-frisk and 35 people carried out nonviolent civil disobedience. Noche was observing the protest with the People’s Neighborhood Patrol outside the police barricade. He was suddenly grabbed by police and thrown to the ground. He was held until the next day and charged with resisting arrest, and interfering with the arrest of an unnamed person who was never arrested. In March 2012, in Harlem, a spontaneous protest broke out among high school students who were outraged by the racist, vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin. Noche spoke up for the students when they were being attacked by the police. The cops then threw Noche to the ground, handcuffed him, and held him for more than 24 hours.

The District Attorney in Manhattan has since combined these two completely different incidents cases in Harlem, so that Noche faces 3½ years in jail. This makes very clear that this is a political prosecution. The only actual relation between these two arrests is that they are politically motivated.

It is very important that people understand and act on the illegitimacy of this prejudicial prosecution of Noche, and demand that the charges by dropped immediately. Many of the people who are already outraged by stop-and-frisk and the mass incarceration of Black and Latino people, as well as the many more across the country who are just learning about these outrages, should demand that Noche be free and that all the charges be dropped. Fierce, determined resistance aimed at putting an end to this outrage is needed.

If they are able to put Noche in prison, it will be a blow to the movement for revolution. But if we rally the thousands and tens of thousands right now to act on their conscience and win this struggle to defend Noche, we will come out stronger. And we need to bring out how this outrage is rooted in and flows from this system and consistently bring forward the need to build this all towards revolution.

We must also deeply appreciate how precious it is when our youth do stand up for the masses of people. When our youth refuse to just accept the way things are and when their daring to make sacrifices is turned towards fighting against oppression, it can inspire many others to join the fight and support it. I recommend that everyone watch BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Avakian speaks about this at some length there. He talks about how important this is, and then he goes on to talk about how “when this is combined with and informed by the science, the program, the strategy, the leadership that can transform this into a conscious powerful revolutionary force, then there can be a real fighting chance of making revolution.” He goes on to paint a vivid picture for how this system really has no future for our youth, but the revolution does, for the masses of youth in this country and throughout the world. Again I recommend that everyone watch this film to really understand and appreciate this.

It is very important as part of building a movement for revolution right now that Noche be defended and supported by people from coast to coast. The powers-that-be want Noche off the streets. They want to send a message to youth everywhere not to stand up and fight back, not to become revolutionary fighters like Noche. NO! We cannot let this happen!

When Our Youth Stand Up for the People, We Will NOT Allow Them To Be Thrown in Jail!


People from all walks of life and from across this country need to stand together with Noche. What you can do right now:

  • Get together with others to send statements demanding that all the charges against Noche be dropped. Send these statements to stopmassincarceration@gmail.com.
  • Join with your neighbors or fellow students and make banners supporting Noche. Send your banner or a picture of your banner to Revolution Books NY, 146 W. 26th Street, New York, New York 10001.
  • Follow developments in this struggle at revcom.us and on the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website (stopmassincarceration.org). Spread the word to your friends, co-workers, family and fellow students.
  • If you are in school or college or you are a teacher in New York City, contact the Revolution Club (nycrevclub@gmail.com) so that Noche can come speak to your students. Organize your class to come to the first day of trial (April 23, 8:45 am, Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street).
  • If you are in the New York City area on the first day of Noche’s trial, be part of the hundreds who come out to demand the charges be dropped and that Noche be free.

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