Interview with Noche Diaz of the NYC Revolution Club:

Assaulted by Police, Threatened, and Facing 11 Charges for Leading Resistance

December 1, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors' note: Both after the murder of Michael Brown, and after the announcement of the grand jury decision to let the cop who murdered him walk, Noche Diaz was singled out in protests in New York by the NYPD, threatened, assaulted, and arrested. In both cases, police piled on a long list of charges, and Noche is going to court Tuesday, December 2 at 9:30 am on both sets of charges. Noche is well recognized by friend and foe as being with the NYC Revolution Club and for being on the front lines of the battle against police murder and brutality.


Noche Diaz at Union Square Tuesday November 25, 2014

Revolution: Let's start with what happened at your latest arrest.

Noche Diaz: Tuesday evening, November 25, after the grand jury decision was announced, there was a march that began with a rally at Union Square. There was a powerful rally with people speaking out, and then we started marching: "Killer cop has walked, Amerikkka must come to a halt!" We were heading towards the Holland Tunnel, trying to get there. And right away police started targeting me.

Revolution: Describe that.

Noche Diaz: They were saying things like, "I know you, you already have a case, you better go home, cuz when we get you, you ain't going nowhere for a long time, we're gonna put you away." They repeated this, telling me things like, "We already got you for the same thing before." And other people in the march overheard police pointing me out and talking about me, too, I believe. It was clear to a lot of people they had my number, so to speak.

Along the march there were standoffs between marchers trying to go to the Holland Tunnel and police. People were chanting, "Let us march!" The police were telling people in the crowd that we were violent for not stopping protesting and going home. They tried to get the protesters to fight each other and were spreading all this stuff about we were violent. We were talking about they killed Michael Brown and they're calling us violent. But they were trying to isolate people who were trying to lead things, especially people in the Revolution Club, including myself. But they weren't able to do that and they kept striking me on the back of the head.

Revolution: Police kept assaulting you? Hitting you on the head?!

Noche Diaz: Yeah. During this standoff with police, they were hitting me on the head.

Revolution: Police repeatedly hit you on the head during this standoff?

Noche Diaz: Yes. And at different points police tried to snatch me, but weren't able to. People in the crowd were trying to protect me from these assaults. The police had me pushed against a car, and finally were able to pull me out of the crowd. They had made a decision to really go get me. Despite efforts from the crowd to protect me, they got me. They slammed me to the ground. Then they pulled me up to my feet and took me behind the police line. One said, "Let's take him down behind the truck where no one can see." So I stopped walking and faced the crowd.

Revolution: Taking you behind a truck where nobody can see can't mean anything legitimate, especially given that they were assaulting you even when everyone could see.

Noche Diaz: And I had been assaulted the night before at a protest. On Monday night, some kind of supervisor—in front of a number of people—grabbed me by the throat and said, "Get out of here." So that's what I was thinking about.

Revolution: Tell us more about what happened Monday night.

Noche Diaz: Monday night, right after the grand jury decision was announced, we were marching, and the police kept trying to corral the march with motorcycles. They kept hitting people with motorcycles, and some of us were trying to protect people from that. And a police supervisor grabbed me by the throat, and was choking me, saying "Get out of the way, get out of here."

Revolution: So then, back to Tuesday night when they arrested you...

Noche Diaz: As they were talking about taking me out of sight behind a truck, I folded my legs and sat quietly.

Revolution: And what are the charges?

Noche Diaz: Inciting to riot, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly.

Revolution: So what is the status of these charges?

Noche Diaz: I'm going to court Tuesday on both these charges, and facing a similar set of charges from August 14. That was a few days after the killing of Mike Brown. There was a nationwide moment of silence. The NYC Revolution Club was part of that, and then led people to go from silence to defiance, marching up to Times Square. Marching back from Times Square, the police kettled people—surrounded them and wouldn't let people leave. They reached into the kettle and dragged me out and arrested me for my role in helping lead the march there. I have six charges from that arrest.

Revolution: Let's talk about what this is all about and part of, what you've been in the middle of.

Noche Diaz: Going back to August, people in Ferguson stepped out and defied the powers that be, and set an example for people everywhere, not just protest as usual. They defied teargas, tanks, and rubber bullets. Youth who have been cast off and criminalized by the system were in the front lines. That was affecting the atmosphere everywhere. And the powers that be are very afraid of that. Even when there were moments of silence in different parts of the country, and here, for sure, many became places where people stepped out in the spirit of Ferguson. And the powers that be really hated that, and hate the role I played in that. And at same time, in the local setting, the murder of Eric Garner is a flashpoint that could bubble over at any point, and mass dissatisfaction with and hatred for the new police commissioner, Bratton, and disillusionment with de Blasio's "progressive" agenda, that, in de Blasio's words, "threatens to tear this city apart."

So they hated people standing up. And that happened again starting Monday when the grand jury came back, for much of the same kinds of reasons. Because all across the country, people refused to swallow this or wait, like Al Sharpton says, for a federal investigation, which takes forever and goes nowhere. So we were responding to the call from Carl Dix to shut the country down. People shut down bridges, tunnels, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Bratton condemned the protesters as "callous" for daring to disrupt such an important American holiday. And around the country, Black Friday was "Black Lives Friday." Yesterday, people marched in Harlem.

So, again, going back to Tuesday night, I was clearly singled out for the role I've been playing.

Revolution: We have been seeing different dimensions of repression against people expressing outrage against the grand jury decision, and the murder of Michael Brown. Protests have been attacked—hundreds arrested in LA. In Ferguson, the State of Emergency targeted those who catch the most hell every day—who live under police state terror day in day out, and ratcheted that repression up to a whole other level. And leaders are being targeted. The NYPD is bragging, overtly bragging, about spying on "professional agitators" in Ferguson (and whatever that is supposed to mean, it isn't against the law). So it seems targeting you is an expression of all this.

Noche Diaz: To add to that, myself and the Revolution Club play a role in bringing people targeted for repression into political life. And also in calling out people like Sharpton who say "light a candle and go home." People like myself who refuse to accept letting the system work in the way it is intended to work, to oppress and kill people. People like myself, who lead people to act around that, and bring a section of people into political life and protest, are targeted—not just for leading marches tactically, but for playing this kind of political role. They want people to stop protesting. They're doing everything they can to find someone in Ferguson to put on TV to say "people just want things to go back to normal." The reality is, if it wasn't for people in the streets, these murders would be just getting swept under the rug, and we'd all be waiting for a federal investigation. So you can listen to what the powers that be say they are afraid of and learn from that. They don't want people in the streets.

Revolution: In going after leaders of the movement, different political forces and perspectives have been targeted, and have to be defended. And within that, they have gone after the Revolution Club with a lot of venom and violence.

Noche Diaz: Yes, they've made no secret of targeting people associated with getting out fliers from the Revolutionary Communist Party. National news has slandered the RCP in Ferguson, but not just there. It's not a secret they hate what the RCP is about. And you can check out what the RCP is about at

Revolution: And what is the next step, how and when do people support you and oppose the political charges against you?

Noche Diaz: The Revolution Club is calling for everyone to join us in a protest Tuesday, December 2. Rally outside 100 Centre Street, 8:45 am and pack the courtroom in Part B, 100 Centre Street, at 9:30.

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.