12 December 2014

Drop All Charges Against Protesters!

A new wave of protests has swept across New York City and the country following a Staten Island grand jury’s December 3 decision to not indict the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death. The day after the cop walked, the Spartacist League joined a multiracial crowd of some 10,000 people gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square for a rally against racist cop killings (see photo). Among the signs we held was one reading: “Cops Are the Armed Thugs of the Capitalists—Enemies of Workers, Blacks, Immigrants! Cops Out of the Unions!”

For several nights in a row, protesters marched all over the city, chanting: “Black lives matter!” and “I can’t breathe!” They descended on busy holiday destinations, such as Rockefeller Center and Times Square, and stopped traffic on major thoroughfares to draw attention to the cop killings of Garner, Michael Brown and other black men. Giving the lie to Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio’s bleatings about the right to protest, police had arrested at least 300 people by the end of the week, charging many with disorderly conduct. In Ferguson and St. Louis as well as Los Angeles, Oakland and other cities across the country, hundreds more have been arrested in protests against racist cop killings in recent weeks. We demand: Drop all the charges now!

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(reprinted from Workers Vanguard No. 1058, 12 December 2014)

Workers Vanguard is the newspaper of the Spartacist League with which the Partisan Defense Committee is affiliated.