New York, NY: October 21st Stop Stop & Frisk Civil Disobedience in Harlem

Posted: January 9, 2012 by o22national in Area reports 2011
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Dozens of people have now been arrested during a series of civil disobedience actions in protest of the NYPD’s racist, illegal and unconstitutional “Stop and Frisk” policy in several neighborhoods throughout New York City. Responding to a widely circulated Call from Carl Dix of the Revolution Communist Party, and co-founder of the October 22nd Coalition, and Cornel West, the Princeton professor and author, beginning in October 21st, demonstrators from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network targeted police precincts that are notorious for stopping and frisking high numbers of neighborhood residents. At precincts in Harlem in Manhattan, Brownsville in Brooklyn, and Jamaica, Queens, peaceful demonstrators from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and additional misdemeanors and, in some cases, held for up to 48 hours.

On October 21st, the initiating day of the Stop Stop & Frisk campaign, 36 activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience at the 28th Police Precinct in Harlem. Arrestees from this action included Cornel West, Princeton professor and activist; Revolutionary Communist Carl Dix; Jim Vrettos, professor at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice; Debra Sweet, Director of World Can’t Wait; Rev. Stephen Phelps of Riverside Church; Rev. Earl Kooperkamp of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; Randy Credico, social comedian and former director of the William Kuntsler Memorial Fund for Racial Justice; and Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council. This action hit the traditional and social media platforms in a big way and captured the imagination of many. We are now seeing on scene the young people of the “New Freedom Fighters/Riders” taking on the New Jim Crow, as many are referring to racially-targeted mass incarceration.

The movement to end Stop and Frisk also has support from Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Harlem, and Occupy The Hood. On Thursday, December 1st, students at Columbia University presented NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly with the “Bull Connor Award” for protecting white privilege when he attended an event on campus. On Friday, December 2nd, approximately 100 students from Columbia, Pace University and other schools participated in a Day of Student Action against Stop and Frisk, including a rally and march that culminated in a street theater protest event outside Manhattan Central Booking.

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