NYC’s New Generation Of Militant Activists

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Above Photo: From Medium.com

— And The Media Blackout That Has Followed

Over the past year and a half, New York City has seen the growth of an organized, militant grassroots movement, lead by young activists of color and completely ignored by the mainstream media. Gaining steam a few months after the Ferguson Uprising in 2014, tens of thousands of New Yorkers began taking to the streets to demand justice for Mike Brown and Eric Garner. Now, seventeen months later, a coordinated network has formed, shutting down the streets on a weekly basis in every single borough. If one only listens to the reporting by mainstream media, it would paint a naive, racist depiction of a movement that has seemingly “died down.” However, the reactionary behavior of the establishment and the NYPD, one of the largest police forces in the amerikkkan empire, reveals an entirely different narrative.

Photo: Vienna Rye

Photo: Vienna Rye

Activists on the ground in NYC are facing heavy state repression, including the targeting of organizers’ cell phones during protests, phone surveillance, false arrests, and political trials dragging on for months in the New York City court system. If this movement wasn’t a threat, if our organizing didn’t have a chance at the people’s collective liberation — then why are we flanked every single week by one of the nation’s largest counter-terrorist police units? Why are our communications being monitored and controlled bymilitary grade surveillance technology? Why is the NYPD legal unit prosecuting violation charges, using resources to take summons tickets to lengthy political trials? When put into this context, the state and the establishment admit to a very different fight than they are letting on to the general public.

Groups such as Millions March NYCGrand Central Crew: NYC Shut It DownCop Watch Patrol UnitPeoples Power AssembliesICEFREENYC,Why AccountabilityNYers Against BrattonJustice for Akai GurleyAfrikans Helping AfrikansBlack Lives Matter NYC, and the Campaign to Shut Down Rikers have organized major mobilizations and direct actions for a year and a half, bringing thousands of protesters to the streets on a consistent basis. These activists are young, radical and militant, with many of the aforementioned groups connected in large and expanding coalitions. Circumventing traditional respectability politics, themes of Fuck the Police are embraced, with organizing taking place on encrypted phone threads, allowing for quick and coordinated responses to push our revolutionary agenda against the racist, capitalist state intent on silencing us. We are young, we are revolutionary, we are absolutely not afraid — and the state wants more than anything to silence our momentum and kill this movement.

(NYC Solidarity March with Baltimore Uprising)

(NYC Solidarity March with Baltimore Uprising)

Major solidarity marches with BaltimoreClevelandCharlestonFerguson,MinneapolisTexas and San Francisco have shut down the streets with thousands of people, often organized in less than 36 hours. #PeoplesMonday has shut down the streets across all 5 boroughs every single Monday for over a year. Solidarity ties have strengthened between Black liberation and Palestinian liberation groups, building the groundwork for what could grow into an international proletarian struggle. Direct actions have targeted and disrupted Mayor de Blasio, Bronx DA Robert Johnson, DOC Commissioner Ponte, Donald Trump, and numerous local city government and jail officials. A newly formed grassroots coalition, The Campaign to Shut Down Rikers, has built momentum to shutter NYC’s most notorious jail complex, with coffins delivered to Mayor de Blasio at City Halland to the home of Bronx DA Robert Johnson for Kalief Browder. Just this past November, DOC Commissioner Ponte was disrupted at a Board of Corrections Hearing, and the proposed harmful reforms were revoked shortly after. Justice for Akai Gurley and family organizing has led to the first conviction of an NYPD officer in 10 years. Typically there are multiple arrests every single week of lead organizers fighting back in the streets, and numerous trial dates and civil litigations are currently taking place.

(Photo: Vienna Rye)

(Photo: Vienna Rye)

The mainstream media has ignored all of the above for almost a year and a half. This is certainly not an accident — rather it is a strong indication to the extent of the fear on the side of the establishment. All we have as activists to fight back are our voices and our bodies. When we are then subsequently being silenced in the media and locked up by the counter-terrorist NYPD police unit — evidently, both our voices and our bodies are considered a high threat by those maintaining the status quo. To put it simply, clearly we are a threat of becoming free.

As state repression and racial tensions continue escalating locally and nationally, the stakes are too high for the media to exist as a deceptive “neutral” apparatus. Protesters today are being arrested for “walking on the sidewalk”, while demanding justice for a black man who was killed standing on the sidewalk. This is the amerikkka we are in today, and this was the amerikkka we were in 400 years ago when our country was built on the genocide of Indigenous people and enslavement of Black people. It is time to make the tough decisions, publish the uncomfortable truths, and make the radical choice of oppression or liberation. There is an active genocide happening in our backyard and all over the world of people of color and poor people. The united states of amerikkka has become one of the largest open air slave camps in the history of mankind, with over 2 million people in cages and 7 million under correctional control, backed by its imperialist allies waging exploitive wars and massacres abroad. The only ecological system that sustains us with life, the Earth itself, is imminently collapsing under the white supremacist, capitalist, hetero-patriarchy. The civilization built by the west, built by the white man — is now threatening the very survival of humanity, and with it, all forms of life on the planet. It is long past the time to face the truth. If we are to survive, the distinctions have to be made, the sides have to be chosen, and the fight has to be picked up immediately. Otherwise, only history will live to tell the truth, and the blood will be on your hands.

Which narrative will our civilization survive to tell?

 

  • occupyRUScom

    BLESS ALL-EVERY-ANY [True] “OCCUPIER” (OWS’rs) !!!

    Soo, ‘From New York TO Greece Fk Da Police!’

  • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

    We certainly need more positive militancy.

  • Chazz A

    Great article. A consistent, unified movement against injustice is a big threat to the one percent elite. The Republic has deteriorated into an Oligarchy Capitalist system. The system thrives on the old adage “divide and conquer”
    and the 99 percent is finally cognizant of what is going on in this country.

  • DHFabian

    Meanwhile, a vital role has been played by those promoting anti-white bigotry, effectively dividing and conquering any potential progressive push-back by this generation.

  • DHFabian

    No such movement exists. We have been profoundly divided and pitted against each other by race and class. Anti-white bigotry and middle class elitism have dominated the liberal discussion, and alienated a huge chunk of that “99%.” America is rich vs. middle class vs. poor.

    America itself is an economic entity. At the proverbial “end of the day,” everything comes down to our ability to survive, to be OK for another day. Consider that we have a poverty crisis, that the great majority of very poor are white, and that they’ve been utterly disappeared from the public discussion. It has been virtual “open season” on our homeless for years, as they’ve been beaten, even killed, by police and citizens alike. When this happens, there is no liberal outrage, no weeks of media coverage, no marches for justice.

    Movement for what, and for whom?

  • DHFabian

    Be careful of what you wish for. If we had a revolution, who would fight whom, and for what? We’re black vs. white, middle class vs. poor, one ideology vs. another.

  • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

    Great Points.

  • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

    There is nothing wrong with positive militancy and a real revolution. Also, we know who we are fighting. We are fighting against the interests of the one percent (which make up the oligarchy). I do believe that the poor, the working class, and the middle class should unite in common cause to achieve real changes in society. This isn’t easy. No one should have naivete about this. The creation of Social Security wasn’t easy. The establishment of the CRA and the VRA weren’t easy too. Those laws were almost defeated in Congress, but they weren’t ultimately. Therefore, some people have to realize that real change will be a difficult, long process, but it a necessary one to pursue.

  • Chazz A

    No such movement exists, as of now. As I stated, the government thrives under the adage “divide and conquer”. I refer to this as “the Oligarch- ism’s”. That’s , racism, sexism, class-ism and even religion-ism.
    It will take a unified movement to fight injustice and all of the aforementioned “isms”.
    We are moving in that direction as more people become conscious and take a stand. Nothing gets accomplished by remaining silent or wishful thinking in this country.

  • Jon

    How to respond to (from above) “The mainstream media has ignored all of the above for almost a year and a half.” Then take the demonstrations to the gates of the media! Expose them at their own locations! Get more trustworthy media to cover the actions too, Post to YouTube, etc.

  • Jon

    No, they are exposing the profound systemic racism that lies at the heart of most of the institutions of this society. It is imperative for us who are white to understand and unite with people of color like Black Lives Matter and Idle No More. They are right to expose the racism, it is up to s not to unite with their (white) oppressors, or to make excuses for them. Got that? A famous line goes “For justice thunders condemnation, a better world’s in birth.”