From the NY Revolution Club:

Defend Noche Diaz, Revolutionary Fighter for the People

May 1, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


FLASH UPDATE! April 23 6 pm,
See Manhattan D. A. Drops All Criminal Charges on Noche Diaz

On Tuesday, April 23, the trial of Noche Diaz, a young revolutionary and member of the Revolution Club in New York City, is getting underway in a Manhattan courtroom. Noche has been at the front lines of the struggle to bring the NY Police Department's blatantly racist and illegal practice of stop-and-frisk to an end, and to safeguard people's rights. He is being targeted for political and legal persecution by the powers-that-be, and faces more than four years in prison.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is calling on people to pack the courtroom on April 23 and sign a statement initiated by Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party and two professors at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Reverend Luis Barrios, and James Vrettos. Thousands of signatures on this statement/petition is an important part of making clear that people are not going to allow those in power to come down on revolutionaries like Noche who are standing up for the people.

What You Can Do

Sign the petition "Hands Off Noche Diaz! Drop All the Charges Against Him!" from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at Get others to sign the petition.

Spread the link to the online petition on Facebook, Tweet #HandsOffNoche with the link on Twitter, blog about it on Tumblr, etc.

For those of you who know prominent artists, professors, speakers, news figures, etc. who would support this, who have a following, and who should be a part of spreading this more broadly, send them this article; make sure they know about the petition and the ways in which they can be involved in spreading the word.

If you're in the NYC area, come to and mobilize others to rally for Noche on the first day of the trial, April 23, 8:30 am, 100 Centre Street in Manhattan.

The initiators of the statement in support of Noche were themselves among those arrested in a mass campaign of civil disobedience that began in the fall of 2011, with professors, ministers, revolutionaries, community activists, Occupy activists, and others protesting in front of NYC police precincts that carry out the highest number of stop-and-frisks. On the first day of this campaign, in October 2011, when people marched to the 28th precinct in Harlem and 35 people carried out nonviolent civil disobedience, Noche was in the crowd outside the police barricades, observing the police as part of the People's Neighborhood Patrol. The police targeted Noche, grabbing him out of the crowd and arresting him.

In the trial starting on April 23, this case from October 2011 has been combined with charges stemming from March 2012, when a spontaneous protest by high school students in Harlem broke out in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin by a racist vigilante in Sanford, Florida. Students had gathered at a park for a speak-out, wearing hoodies and holding packages of Skittles. When the NYPD forced them out of the park, they took off on a march chanting "We are all Trayvon Martin." The cops moved to disperse the march and at one point threw a teenager into a plate glass window of a bank. Noche was with others to witness and denounce this brutality, and he was arrested and held for 24 hours before even being charged.

Photo: Special to Revolution

The Manhattan DA has combined these two unrelated cases, from October 2011 and March 2012, for the trial starting on April 23. This is clear evidence of political persecution, since the only thing connecting these two arrests of Noche is that they were politically motivated.

These two combined cases are among 11 charges that Noche faces, stemming from five arrests since October 2011, in four NYC boroughs, all for observing and protesting the illegitimate actions of the NYPD. Last March, for example, Noche was returning from a family gathering in the Bronx when he saw Jeffeth James being pulled from his car by five cops, after being stopped for an alleged faulty light on his license plate, during daylight. James, terrified for his life and holding on to the steering wheel, was pulled out of his car by his dreadlocks and then beaten on the ground. James had 40 percent of his hair pulled from his head and suffered broken ribs, but says his life may well have been saved by Noche and others who had gathered on the corner to observe what was happening. The cops who carried out the brutality have not been charged or even disciplined. But people who stood within legal distance to observe, record, and report on this abuse, including Noche, were arrested and have been charged with "obstructing" government authority.

Noche Diaz speaking out in Times Square the day after a police murder there. Photo: Li Onesto/Revolution

The NYPD has made more than 5 million stop-and-frisks in nine years. In 88 percent of these encounters, the person stopped by the police was doing nothing wrong. Nearly 90 percent of those stopped were Black and Latino. NY Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defends the stop-and-frisk policy because, he says, it's "keeping innocent New Yorkers safe"—which points to how those at the top consider Blacks and Latinos "guilty" or "suspicious" just based on the color of their skin.

For those who are not mainly directly affected by stop-and-frisk, the situation poses a real moral responsibility. Do nothing because this outrage is not happening to you? No! Instead, act to be part of putting an end to this. Stand with Noche as he is put on trial.

As Noche said last September, "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 you to join us..." (See "'Noche' Diaz: Facing Prison for Standing Up for the Youth," September 16, 2012.)

Noche Diaz is a revolutionary communist because he has come to understand the U.S. empire would not be what it is today without the whole history of slavery and genocide, and that oppression is embedded in the continuing functioning of this system and cannot and will not be reformed away. He's come to see that the way things are today is totally unnecessary, because a whole different way for people to live and to flourish is possible, and that there is a vision and a plan for a radically new society, as concretized in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)—but that this will take revolution, nothing less. Revolutionaries like Noche, who live to serve the people and emancipate all of humanity, must be supported and defended from attack.

The NY DA and Ray Kellys of the world may want to make an example of Noche, to send a message to youth everywhere to not stand up and fight back, to not become a revolutionary like Noche. But the reality is there are many thousands of people who would jump to have Noche's back if they were aware of what's going on and given the ways to act. That means YOU, who now know about this and have to be part of making Noche's case known all over so that this becomes one important step in the fight to bring stop-and-frisk to an end.

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!


Photo: Special to Revolution

Tapping Into Seething Anger—Free Noche

From readers:

What the system is doing to Noche is fucked up. He's just trying to defend people in the neighborhood being brutalized by the police. It's bullshit he's getting charged for this. To bring masses of people into knowing about this and having Noche's back, we took some butcher paper and markers and went to a park in an oppressed neighborhood where the revolution is starting to be known. We went to the basketball courts and spread the paper out and started working on the banner, writing, "Free Noche/Drop all the Charges." Some young youth playing basketball had talked to one of us before about how the cops stop them when they're walking down the street with their backpacks on, even though they are only 12- to 14-years-old, and one of them has a cousin who was killed by the police not long ago. We told them about Noche and they came over to work on the banner—coloring in the letters and being the first to put their names on it.

We took the banner to the nearby high school as school was letting out. For some students, hearing about this right away tapped into their seething anger about what the police do to them. A couple students walked away from their friends who weren't interested, coming over to write, "Fuck the pigs" and "Fuck the feds" on the banner and tried to convince their friends to do it too. Some other students were pissed off that the police are doing what they always do when they go after the regular people to target someone who was standing up against that. Some just said, "It's fucked up." One wrote, "never turn a blind eye to injustice." And a couple other students thought for a little while about whether they were going to sign the banner, deciding to do it because they became convinced that when someone like Noche steps out to stand up for other people, they should do something to support him.

We found many of the same sentiments when we went into the neighborhood next, where people walk by coming home from school and other places. A lot of people signed the banner here, with a lot of feeling of appreciation for what Noche is doing. We read people a quote from Noche that was in Revolution, "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...." People wrote comments on the banner, "Thank you Noche keep yo head up," "Let him free," "Your doing great luv you!" and "keep it up bro." One woman wrote, "I wish that you were my son. I get the animals that hurt you."

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