From Class and Out into the Streets

December 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader in NYC:

December 3—I first heard about the Grand Jury's decision via text around 3 pm on my way to my school for a forensic mental health class. I decided to go ahead to the class, and arriving a little late I found they had heard about the None Indictment and the professor was leading a discussion:

The professor asked some questions and (by show of hands) we learned that no one out of a class of about 20 students had had a class discussion about Ferguson. We critiqued how these discussions are not integrated into the mainstream and instead the nation (academia included) will only start serious discussions after there is upheaval and ferment. The original topic was counseling with multicultural sensitivity and a discussion on politically correct language was shifted to the importance in use of language and word choice around Ferguson. For example—the national conversation is constantly referring to riots/looting and this misrepresents the sentiment on the street. I suggested the more accurate term of rebellions. Also someone compared the labeling of Mike Brown as "a thug," while a white shooter who fires on a crowd is labelled as "a good kid where something just went wrong."

There was also a comparison to psychoanalysts in Nazi Germany who had to decide if they wanted to help the average citizen to be well-adjusted or if they could use their influence with "liberation psychology." Another student brought up the statistics of current white privilege and history as a constant struggle to secure and maintain this power by a ruling class.

From this class I walked towards Rockefeller Plaza (around 6:30) and first encountered the cops with barricades set up a few blocks north of any action. I kept walking and then found a protest of maybe 300 at 51st and 6th Ave. People were yelling at the cops saying things like "Get Off the Bullshit Code of Silence!" and "Indict Killer Cops!" 

The group was not able to (or decided not to) cross the avenue to move closer to the tree lighting ceremony and headed west, then north.

I got my hands on a banner that read "If the Killer Cop Walks, then Shut It Down." A couple of students volunteered to carry this, one young Black woman said she had to go to work at 10 pm but she saw this group and decided to join. She said it is about time that people begin to do something about the way things are.

The group marched all the way to Harlem, with lots of solidarity and group leadership as to when to make sharp turns. Almost every time that the cops were positioned at the front of the protesters, the group turned down another street with lots of comments such as "fight the power" and "fuck the police." Eventually we made a "people's circle" across an intersection of four lanes (125th and Lexington). We had a die-in and used the people's mic to share how important these actions are and the target of shutting down the bridges, tunnels and hopefully One Federal Plaza to send the message of no more business-as-usual. 

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