Over A Thousand Cyclists Take Over City Streets On Solidarity Protest Ride

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Above photo: Cyclists crossing the Williamsburg Bridge during a Black Lives Matter ride on June 8th, 2020. By Jake Offenhartz for the Gothamist.

Over A Thousand Cyclists Travel From Brooklyn To Manhattan On Solidarity Protest Ride.

7:30 p.m. Over a thousand cyclists biked their way from Brooklyn to Manhattan as part of a Black Lives Matter solidarity ride Monday evening. The ride started at Grand Army Plaza just before 6:30 p.m., and made its way to Atlantic Avenue and then Bedford Avenue; the riders then crossed over on the roadway of the Williamsburg Bridge, snaked through lower Manhattan, and started biking up the West Side Highway.

Along the way, there was lots of cheering and seemingly supportive honking—and probably some not-so-supportive honking from drivers who had to wait for the cyclists to pass them.

A large group of the cyclists looped around over the Manhattan Bridge, and headed back toward Barclays Center. Some cyclists were snared in traffic on the roadway of that bridge, with several people getting flat tires—and at least one driver running over a person’s foot.

A small splinter group, which headed north on the West Side Highway instead of south, staged their own mini-protest in Manhattan before also heading back to Brooklyn. Cyclists who chose to try to go across the Brooklyn Bridge had to get off to walk because of how crowded it is right now.

Ernie, a 38-year-old Brooklyn resident, told Gothamist the ride has been entirely peaceful. “[We’re] riding, yelling, having a good time, making people’s nights who are in the streets, maybe making some people uncomfortable, but that’s alright, that’s what we’re here for,” he said over a cacophony of shouts and honks.

Black Lives Matter Demonstrators Protest ICE At 88th Precinct In Brooklyn

6:45 p.m. About 250 Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the 88th Precinct stationhouse in Clinton Hill tonight to call for the elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Protesters say ICE officers were seen at the station over the weekend, and a video posted to Twitter appears to show the precinct’s commanding officer confirming that ICE is “assisting” the NYPD but is “not here to target immigrants.”

Under New York’s sanctuary policies, the NYPD’s coordination with ICE is supposed to be strictly limited. When the NYPD has detained an undocumented person, they are only allowed to notify ICE if the suspect has been convicted of a list of 170 violent crimes. But immigrant advocates say the NYPD has routinely overstepped the Sanctuary City guidelines to facilitate ICE arrests. Last week, a video surfaced that appeared to show the NYPD assisting ICE in arresting a protester during a march on the Upper West Side.

Richard Foust, 57, lives in a public housing apartment complex across the street from the precinct, but was on the street with the demonstrators when the anti-ICE protest started. “These people are standing up for unjust things going on in the country,” he said. “The last time I seen something like this is when the Black Panthers was around. Like Malcolm X said years ago: ‘A man with a badge and a gun is legal to kill a n—–.'”

One protester, who gave her name as Sasha, carried a sign that said: “ABOLISH POLICE, ICE AND PRISONS.” She said she was demonstrating because, “the system is racist.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the 88th Precinct’s degree of cooperation with ICE.

UPDATE June 9th: The NYPD has issued the following statement about their cooperation with ICE and Homeland Security Investigations [HSI]: “During these unprecedented events, significant resources have been deployed to address the spike in looting and commercial burglaries, implement a citywide curfew and address the spike in violent crime. This includes a robust effort to bolster the NYPD’s Patrol resources.

“For a limited time, HSI, FBI, and the New York State Police assisted narrowly with NYPD operations during the demonstrations. HSI was limited to stationhouse security as the Department was receiving threat information regarding attempts to take over precincts. The scope of their support did not expand beyond that assistance and had nothing to do with immigration enforcement.”

Protestors Demand Justice For Maurice Gordon In Newark

5 p.m. Hundreds of protesters once again gathered in Newark, New Jersey, on Monday to demand an end to police brutality. In particular, demonstrators said they were angry at the killing of another black man right in their backyard: Maurice Gordon was shot six times by a state trooper during a traffic stop on the Garden State Parkway on May 23rd, two days before George Floyd’s death.

Protesters chanted “enough is enough” just as the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office released audio and video recordings of the fatal shooting.

The rally was led by Larry Hamm of the People’s Organization for Progress, who is also running in the primary against Senator Cory Booker. Police presence was minimal; a handful of officers on motorcycles drove alongside protesters as they marched from the Peter Rodino federal building to Military Park.

Protester Thomas Ibiang, a lifelong Newark resident who goes by the name “Afrika,” said cities can’t just implement police reforms, they have to re-imagine the entire institution. “The police are public servants, let them be public servants,” he said. “If you’re a public servant you shouldn’t be kneeling on someone’s neck for nine minutes what kind of public servant is that?”

Activists are calling on a statewide march to Trenton on June 30th.