The NYPD and the Whole Damn System Are Guilty—NOT Protesters!

January 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On December 13, 2014, protests were held in many cities across the U.S. demanding an end to police murder and brutality. In New York City, over 25,000 people took to the streets and one of the marches included hundreds of people who marched across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The next day, the mainstream media focused not on the large, determined, and broad protests and the just demands raised by the people—but on the police "hunt" for some protesters. The NYPD claimed that on the bridge, protesters attacked two cops who were trying to arrest someone they claim was throwing a garbage can.

A whole campaign was launched in the media to hunt down, arrest and convict these protesters—based mainly on a two-minute YouTube video. The level of hysteria was ratcheted way up for days. There were high-profile press conferences with Police Commissioner Bratton and other city officials calling on people to help identify those responsible for supposedly "assaulting two NYPD lieutenants." A "Wanted" poster was issued with photos of seven "suspects"—that then appeared on tabloid front pages. People were called on to turn these people in and were offered a reward of $25,000. Those on the "wanted protesters" posters were assumed guilty. Mayor de Blasio jumped in to call for the protesters to be punished but was then roundly criticized by the police for referring to what happened as an "alleged" assault.

Five of the seven "wanted" have now been arrested or turned themselves in, with charges ranging from felony assault on police to resisting arrest, inciting to riot, and obstructing governmental administration.

This orchestrated "trial by media" has been an attempt by city and police officials to target the protests as a whole, put those who have been defiantly taking to the streets on the defensive and try to put a lid on any further demonstrations against the police. This includes trying to pit people against each other—setting terms for who are considered "good" and "bad" protesters.

At a press conference covered nationally on news channels, NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton announced the hunt for the protesters and said, "We do not take attacks [sic] on police officers lightly—never have, never will." Mayor de Blasio declared that those who protest "have to take responsibility for those in their midst, even the smallest minority, anyone who might do violence of any kind... They have to work actively to stop that."

What's happening in NYC is part of the repression taking place across the country as police and governments respond to the continuing protests against police murder and brutality and the oppression of Black people. Police have attacked protesters, at times making mass arrests and also singling out individual activists, and in particular revolutionaries; police unions have threatened athletes who have spoken out by wearing "I Can't Breathe" shirts; students have been warned against doing walkouts; martial law has been imposed in Ferguson and other communities of the oppressed and other forms of repression are being carried out.

Meanwhile, the police in NYC and every other city across AmeriKKKa continue to brutalize, terrorize, and murder Black and Latino people with impunity. This is intolerable, illegitimate, and criminal. This must be resisted and protesters targeted and persecuted must be supported in their fight against such attacks.

There will never be any justice for Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Ezell Ford, Omar Abrego...and so many others, without determined struggle that reaches all corners of society. Those who send their police to brutalize and kill people of color, their mouthpieces in the media, and those who hate righteous resistance more than they hate injustice... have NO right to attack the people for protesting all these injustices; they have no right to tell people where and how they can protest and define who is a "good" protester! In every case, when those who protest come under attack from the powers, they must be defended politically—and in the courtroom—as an important part of building the resistance.

Revolution/ will be continuing to cover the repression against the protests. Send reports on attacks on the movement for justice to:

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