Black Lives Matter demonstrators held a rally outside Macy’s this weekend, to call out NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, who has publicly given his support to New Yorkers protesting against Donald Trump, but continues to support non-progressive policing policies in the city.
After the rally, protesters set off on a march through Manhattan. However, alleged police harassment drove the group onto the High Line park instead.
The rally was organized by People’s Power Assemblies, NYC Shut It Down, Why Accountability, Hoods 4 Justice and International Working Women’s Day Coalition, and was held in Herald Square outside the Macy’s department store.
Demonstrators gathered to call upon De Blasio to stop all NYPD cooperation with Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) officers, end “Broken Windows” policing, abolish the police, and reinvest the $5.5 billion annual budget of the NYPD into New York’s Black and Brown communities for housing, healthcare and education.
“[DeBlasio] has presented himself as the progressive leader in the battle against Trump’s racist policies, telling New Yorkers to keep protesting and giving his support. However, it is Bill De Blasio who condemned Black Lives Matter protesters, reinvested more money into the NYPD without demanding any substantial changes, and continued the racist policies that facilitate collaboration between ICE and the NYPD,” organizers said before the event.
“These policies will only further lend support for Trump’s declarations to reinstate “Law and Order” which is code for more militarized policing and criminalization of people of color and protesters.”
Around 200 protesters gathered to listen to speakers who focused on the intersectionality between the black and brown communities, as well as Muslims, immigrants, and LGBTQ communities.
“We have a message to Mayor De Blasio who ran as a liberal, and now is just a puppy dog of the fascist New York police. He is just Trump in another face,” said Larry Holmes, from People’s Power Assemblies.
“It may be April Fools Day but we ain’t fooled by him. You can declare war on us…but let us tell you, we will wage war against you for our right to live, for every victim of police violence and terror, and all these fascist people in power: we are committed to defending black and brown people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims, immigrants, and all people targeted by Trump.”
The rally was officially endorsed by ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism), Black Lives Matter Greater New York, Equality For Flatbush, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Teach Dream and the Workers World Party.