Marchers Defy Police Threats in NYC

Updated January 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |



Leaving Union Square 12/31/14. Photo: @Newyorkist

Getting ready to march from Union Square to Times Square


Midnight: When the march got turned around at 38th Street, Travis Morales called a mic check to focus everyone on what we were there for. He called on people to keep marching and asked, "Why is it their cops get away with murder—but when we march they order us arrested?!"

A tactical regrouping incorporating marching and chanting continued. The march retreated, but then maneuvered and—with a heavy police tail—marched into the crowd of revelers right before midnight. Amidst the uproar as the ball came down and fireworks went off, the protest maintained its coherence, chanting “hands up, don't shoot,” hanging a big “From Harlem to Ferguson” banner from scaffolding, agitating, and forming a big circle. Then there was a die-in of about 25 people for about 20 minutes. Most revelers left, but many stayed, checking out the protest and taking pictures of it, talking to protesters; about 20-30 joined the protesters. This scene lasted about 30 minutes, and then the protesters left en masse, with some groups of 10-15 marching off in the streets, chanting and waving signs.

11:10pm Update: Protesters heading to Times Square are chanting: Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail - the whole damn system is guilty as hell; I can't breathe; If we don't get it shut it down; How do you spell terrorist? NYPD; and no new year with the same old shit, we need a revolution, get with it. Police intimidation and threats are escalating - police have riot helmets and visors down.

10:40pm Update: The crowd is marching up Sixth Avenue toward Times Square. Spirited, loud, blowing whistles and chanting.

9:40pm: Union Square, New York City. About 200 people have gathered at this point for a rally in Union Square. The crowd is very diverse, very multi-national; mainly younger people like in their 20s but there are also older people. People are very determined to fight these police murders. A woman holding a sign “I can’t breathe” spoke about the horror of what happened to Eric Garner. An older man in a wheelchair came out in the cold, cold weather to protest wearing his Vietnam Veterans Against the War shirt. Two young Black women, sisters both students. they came because, “There is still racism, Black people are still being profiled and it’s a shame that this is still going on after all the struggle that we have waged.” A young white guy from out of town who didn’t know NYC, got subway directions to the protest.

The NYPD are trying to really intimidate people with lots of squad cars and scooters parked along the streets, disrupting the rally, making announcements through bullhorns people will be arrested if they block the sidewalk. Travis Morales and Carl Dix have addressed the rally. Carl spoke very powerfully to the point that people are in the right place here tonight, that this is a time when people need to say goodbye to all the oppression and murder. He spoke to the question of the system’s call for a moratorium on protests -- that the people cannot stop resisting, that we are not doing this for ourselves we are doing this for the lives of children that hang in the balance every time they confront the NYPD, the Ferguson PD, the LAPD or any other PDs. And he spoke to the fact that to really get rid of this will take revolution and that this is what he is all about.

Sunsara Taylor, correspondent for and initiator of Stop Patriarchy tells the crowd: They say spend New Years with people you love, and the defiant ones, like you, who have stood up, are the people I hold dear. We won’t stop until all this police murder stops.

Another speaker condemned police brutality and sexual violence against Black women. A speaker from Ferguson, MO said “They call us violent but they shoot us down like dogs.”

Contingent from Harlem arrives at Union Square. Photo: April Watters

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

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