58 Arrested in Harlem Protests Against Police Brutality in Subways

By Huey Dessalines

November 24, 2019

NEW YORK CITY: Friday evening marked another demonstration against pig brutality in New York City’s beleaguered public transportation system. The masses have been rebelling for months against NYPD crackdowns over the nonsense crime of “fare evasion” and police brutality against New Afrikan and Latino youth, displayed openly in a widely circulated video of a NYPD officer punching a 15 year old boy at the Jay Street-MetroTech Station in Brooklyn. On November 8th, a churro vendor was arrested at Broadway Junction. Protests grow more and more militant, with banners calling for revolutionary violence against the police and youth tagging police cars with slogans such as “NYPD = KKK.” Friday’s protests turned into a police riot, with a comrade on the ground reporting:

“Extreme repression during the MTA cop brutality protest last night [Friday] in Harlem: at least 57 arrests, 4 people hospitalized, including one case of cops bashing in someone’s head. Little press yet and generally some confusion over the numbers, a consequence of the cops’ strategy of avoiding mass arrests and instead picking people off at random as bottlenecks were created. Cops gave dispersal orders even before the march started and then quickly began snatching people and repeating that in waves. Groups of people broke off along the way as the march moved from Clayton Powell to Malcolm X to ultimately the bridge to the Bronx. I don’t know how many people were there at the start or overall, but I heard around 200 ultimately made it over the bridge. There were probably hundreds of us who dispersed after a final attempt to get on, and at that point cops were snatching people again. I saw one person, a marshal, getting chased by cops toward a fence. The person jumped on the fence and had 10 cops below them, pulling them off it and throwing them to the ground. Other accounts of similarly violent arrests. By 10pm there were about 60 people downtown for jail support. It was cold but there were snacks and comrades. First release was at around 11pm. 11 are still being held for arraignments.”

This marks yet another escalation on the part of the notoriously brutal and violent NYPD. The primary contradiction is the policing of the masses’ primary mode of transport in heavily congested New York City, in addition to gentrification. Millions of dollars have been wasted on this attempt to haul more Black and Brown youth off to prison to clear out neighborhoods for gentrification and generate revenue for the bloated and crooked city payroll. Let us not forget that this is the same police department that choked Eric Garner to death, sodomized Abner Louima with a plunger handle and knocked out his teeth, dogged the Panther 21 and committed all sorts of heinous crimes against the people and continues to do so every hour of its wretched existence. It is right and just for the masses to rebel, but what will ultimately end these abuses and ensure free public transportation for all is revolution led by a principled, disciplined Communist Party that creatively applies Marxism-Leninist-Maoist ideology to the unique conditions of the capitalist-imperialist United States. Militancy must be encouraged and built through practice.

Undoubtedly there were thousands of future people’s liberation army fighters and cadre on the streets of Harlem Friday night, and the violent repression on the part of the NYPD displays once again the bankruptcy of the reformists, electoralists, and radical liberals who come out of the woodwork whenever the masses rise up and rebel in the finest tradition of our class. The ability of the masses to shut down a busy subway station and develop escape and evasion tactics demonstrates how struggle and warfare is ultimately learned through engaging in it. After every action there is a study and summing up process that takes place and it is through this action that revolutionary theory develops.