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(en) Northeast America, Anarchist journal Nor'Easter* #2 - "Take It to th e Streets and Fuck the Police -- No Justice, No Peace"

Date Sat, 12 Jul 2008 07:24:39 +0300

Eyewitness Report on the Rebellion That Greeted Acquittal of Killer Cops in New

The spark: The acquittal of the three cops
who fired 50 shots into an unarmed Black
man on his wedding day in 2007.
The demand: Justice for Sean Bell and all
victims of police brutality.
But the community of Jamaica, Queens
knows there can be no justice for poor people
of color under a system that has always stood
for white supremacy, no justice from the state
that sends occupying armies into the hoods
of America to beat, kill, repress and terrorize
the people.
So it was the day of the verdict, April 25,
2008, that crowds gathered by the hundreds
across the street from the courthouse after
the cops had pushed them back from the
courthouse steps that morning. By the time
night fell, the pigs could no longer hold the
people back.
Led by survivors and families of the vic-
tims,and following a rally with People's Justice
Coalition, hundreds poured into the streets in
an unpermitted march down Queens Boule-
vard.The streets seethed and echoed with the
cries of rage and revolt:
"We are all Sean Bell, NYPD go to hell!"
"They say get back? We say fight back!"
"Take it to the streets and fuck the po-
lice--no justice, no peace!"
The militant march grew to over 2,000
strong--mostly Black and Latin@ youth--
as it wound its way through the community
of Jamaica (home of Sean Bell), shutting
down traffic for over three hours and draw-
ing cheers from just about every window,
rooftop, storefront, and public bus.
When the crowd reached Liverpool,
where the site of Sean's assassination was
marked with flowers and graffiti, they were
given the order to disperse. While hundreds
obeyed, including almost all the white people
present,a group of over 500 youth of color refused
to yield an inch.
This was their hood.These were their streets.
They made the spontaneous decision,
there and then, to stay in the streets of Ja-
maica and to meet repression with rebellion.
These were kids from the community, Black
Power activists, community organizers, gang
bangers, and a supporting crew of anarchists
and communists.
First, following the residents of Jamaica,
we took it to the "40 Projects," a public hous-
ing complex where Sean hailed from. The
people leaned out their windows and spilled
out of the buildings to join an impromptu
rally in the project playground.
Police helicopters buzzed overhead, shin-
ing spotlights on the crowd which responded
with the bird and the raised-fist salute. Up
the block, the cops were waiting in their riot
gear, in their wagons and golf carts, guns and
batons and chemical weapons at the ready.
But the youth had seen enough. They
were not going to take this NYPD terrorism
anymore. They marched with determination
out of the playground, and before a rain of
rocks and bottles and whatever they could
get their hands on, they forced the police to
beat a retreat back up the block.
Then it was on to the 103rd Pre-
cinct, home to killer cops Michael Oli-
ver, Gescard Isnora, and Marc Cooper.
Alerted by a Level 1 Emergency on
police radio, lines of riot cops stood be-
hind metal barriers protecting the pre-
cinct from the "mob," while snipers and
suits manned the roof.
The people held their ground, stand-
ing off with the cops for another half
hour, sending an occasional projectile
landing and shattering behind police
lines. But for the first time in recent
memory, the NYPD, outnumbered
and fearing a general revolt that could
spread from hood to hood, was forced
to stand down.
For once, the police could taste their
own medicine: Fear. And for once, the
people could taste their own power.
Street fighting and limited looting contin-
ued for another hour up and down Jamaica
Avenue. But unlike many riots, not a single
spot belonging to the neighborhood was
damaged. The target was not the hood, but
whatever ground the cops were standing on.
This was urban warfare. The youth con-
tinued to resist the riot police with rocks,
bottles, poles, newsstands, and impromptu
barricades, until a veritable army--probably
over a thousand strong--charged in to make
arrests, shields out and batons swinging, near
Jamaica Center.
Yet most of the youth escaped up the side
streets just in time. Only two were arrested
all night--probably because the NYPD
feared the consequences of their actions. The
hood was swarming with roving riot squads
all night long--but the rebels had dissolved,
disappeared to safety.
The struggle continues, as it always will so
long as the state occupies the hood.
As Illvox of Anarchist People of Color
(APOC) recently put it in a declaration on
the murder of Sean Bell: "People of color are
in the cross hairs of this system every single
day. Now is not the time to mourn, but to
build with determination for anarchist
The actions of April 25, 2008 opened a
window, shattered an illusion, and gave us a
glimpse of what that revolution might look
like on the streets of Jamaica, Queens one

* The Official Quarterly of the northeast anarchist network
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