New York City residents converged on the Lower East Side Wednesday night for the #HandsUp, #TurnUp march to honor Michael Brown and decry police brutality.
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A contingency of protestors coming from an earlier Palestine rally stormed in to Sara D. Roosevelt Park around 9 p.m., chanting, “Please don’t shoot me dead! I got my hands on my head!” referencing how Brown held his hands up before being killed.
Watch the protestors speak here:
“The police are an occupying force in New York City!” one woman said via megaphone. “The police are an occupying force in Ferguson!”
“Ferguson is rebelling right now! We are here to show solidarity with Ferguson!”
“We are the people, and it is our responsibility to take the fu*cing streets back!” exclaimed a young Black woman from Chicago. “They don’t give a f*ck about us! They only give a f*ck about themselves!”
“We need to take a stand! We need to boycott! We need to march every fu*cking day!”
Minutes later, the crowd began marching. They soon overtook the streets, chanting, “No justice, no peace! F*ck the police.”
The escorting NYPD presence struggled to contain the group on the sidewalk, only meeting minimal success. While tensions didn’t get too out of hand, the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee posted video on their Facebook page of officers viciously taking down and arresting at least one person.
After winding through the neighborhood, the group arrived at Union Square, meeting with others waiting for them.
“Just because the police have been around for about 100 to 200 years doesn’t mean they’ll be around here forever,” a speaker said to voracious roars. “We need to let everybody we know who still believes that the police are there to protect them and not property that capitalism and racism are joined at the hip. They have a birthday, and they have a deadline.”
Michael “OG Law” Tabon (pictured in first picture below) added that the police are subservient to the people and have forgotten that.
“We need to teach the police a lesson,” Tabon said. “They need to understand that we are their employers, and they should be grateful for the guns we buy them, the vests we buy them, for the cars we buy them, for the pretty little lights and the sounds you hear — we brought all that stuff.”
According to the Philadelphia native, police officers need to be met with love instead of violence. He also stressed education as a way for youth to avoid socioeconomic gaps. “Criminals, that’s what jail’s for,” the former felon who was dressed in prison garb said. “Kids, young people, you build schools for them. Not prisons. Education over incarceration.”
Tabon also warned that the prison population could become a powerful force against police brutality.
Eighty-two percent of the people that you lock up — we['re] coming out. There is an army rising up to break every chain. I’m a living example of that. We['re] here baby, and we ain’t playing [any] games.”
See more pictures from the march below: