VIDEO: Protestors Shut Down Rikers
Of the 17 people were arrested for nonviolent civil resistance at the entrance to Rikers Island prison complex on October 23 as part of #RiseUpOctober, Clark Kissinger, manager of Revolution Books, and Miles Solay of the rock band Outernational, have been targeted for heavier charges. They are scheduled for trial on Monday, February 22, 2016.You are needed to come out. Building court support is a part of building the movement of resistance to police terror and mass incarceration; it is not a distraction!
Excerpted from From
Courageous Fighters Facing Serious Charges for #ShutDownRikers
Drop The Unjust Charges!
December 21, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
One hundred marched to the entrance of Rikers, including some of those family members; co-initiator of Rise Up October, Carl Dix; students from Columbia and New York Universities; war resisters, including the “Raging Grannies”; revolutionaries and the Revolution Club; religious leaders; and a couple who drove from Michigan to join the protest.
For more than an hour, as the NYPD put up barricades across the road leading to the island prison, access was blocked. The crowd held portraits of people who had died at Rikers. They spoke out and sang and danced energetically. Some sat down and chanted, “Shut It DOWN!” Prisoners heard about the shut down and cheered it, according to reports from relatives. Finally, someone was doing something tangible in response to their outcries. (See photos/video at “A Shout-out to the Courageous Fighters Who Put Their Bodies on the Line to Shut Down Rikers Island Prison.”)
The authorities responded with a show of force. NYPD vehicles massed for arrests. Police dogs—the 4 legged kind—increased the tension. “I thought they stopped deploying dogs against people of color in like 1960?” tweeted a videographer.
Sixteen people were arrested, and others forced away from the barricades. But no one left unmoved by the righteousness of the action and the passion of the protest, which was based on the reality of what Rikers means for the people. Confronting the monstrous brutality of Rikers strengthened people’s determination to really STOP it—and the rest of the system’s genocidal program.
“I didn’t really even know enough about Rikers until I came that morning and heard Sunsara and others telling the stories of people who had died there. They were just so passionate, and I knew I had to be part of the action,” said a woman who was arrested.
Fourteen protesters were released hours later, charged with disorderly conduct. This past week, in a Queens, New York, court, charges were dismissed against four of them, and 10 were given a 24-hour “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,” meaning the charges have been dismissed—a very good development.
But two of the protesters involved in the action were put through the system with criminal charges that could bring one year in Rikers, “obstruction of government administration,” a catch-all charge often used on political protesters such as Noche Diaz.
More Video on October 23 #ShutDownRikers
RIKERS RALLY Shut it Down Oct 23, 2015
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgmXYm67KZwMARCH to RIKERS: Oct 23, 2015