On May 28, 2017, I discussed Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives at the self-managed and self-funded, international, anti-authoritarian festival, B-Fest, in Athens, Greece.
I went down to Union Square yesterday to join the #BlackLivesMatter movement folks and others in solidarity with those in Baltimore, coincidentally (yet not) on the 23rd anniversary of the acquittal of four LAPD Officers whom many of us recall vividly watching beat Rodney King senselessly on video in 1992.
We convened for a while at the north end of Union Square then things ended and we heard the police recording that we had to clear out. But of course it couldn't really end there. We had to take it to the streets.
Big up these women who were making on the spot signs for protesters.
We made our way down to 14th Street and that's when the police seemed to multiply like roaches at every turn, just ready to do what? Inflict pain and their form of injustice on protesters seeking justice? Probably. On the waist of the officer on the right you can see the ties used for the wrists of the future arrested.
We tightened up on the small blocks. And that's when I taped the tail end of this officer saying "Start taking bodies out of the street with DISCON." Not people. Bodies. I'm now assuming it means disorderly conduct and this is where those of you more proficient in the law and police lingo can help me out. Following this officer's command the police started screaming into people's faces to move out of the street. Now if I didn't know better I would think that they do this as direct and purposeful provocation in order to rile people up in order to get them on charges of disorderly conduct (I mean who wouldn't get excited the way this cop is hollering in people's damn mouths). And then the disruption happened and a young man named Justin Richardson is seen here being yoked up and arrested on the spot. I have to say that because of recent tragic events bi-standers have become so astute as to what to do. Peep people chant, "the whole world is watching," as others ask for the name of the young brotha, whom they should contact and what the names of the officers are.
This came full circle and ended back at Union Square where me and some fellow pissed off protesters talked shit as we watched the disgusting waste of resources being expended in an attempt to demonstrate force and the power of the NYPD. I don't know why I was singing. I was just so damn annoyed.
Check out the photos and video from the event I moderated on March 2, 2015 called, Race Matters: A Multicultural Approach to the Social Construct of Race, featuring phenomenal panelists: Drs. John Collins, Hlonipha Mokoena and Silvio Torres-Saillant. The event was organized by Yael Rosenstock and those at The Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding at Queens College! Photos by Leonardo Correa and Melanie Jackson.