And on this day finds itself as Occupy Wall Street day one thousand and something. And Occupy Wall Street is still moving fast. And Black Lives Matter, that all things police brutality and beyond movement is still moving fast also. And as I had blaghed about that March to Shut Down Rikers Island the other day, there was another one of those #RiseUpOctober: Shut Down Rikers Island and Resist Rikers protests this past weekend as part of Stop Mass Incarceration Network‘s #RiseUpOctober. And those Facebook event invites for these events read something like:
#RiseUpOctober: STOP Police Terror & Murder! Which Side Are You On?
11:00 Washington Square Park
3:00 RALLY Bryant Park, 6th Avenue & 42nd Street
STOP POLICE TERROR!
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?
October 22 — national protests and NYC reading of names of those killed by police:
October 23 — non-violent direct action
People take to the streets in cities all across the country on October 22. People won’t be able to turn their heads and say they didn’t see it. On October 23, when students and clergy alongside and in solidarity with those who feel the lash of this every day, engage in non violent direct action and shut down one of their institutions of misery and terror – that will send a powerful message to all – this movement is serious.
Then on Oct 24, we, all of us, will march in from Grant Homes and Strivers’ Row in Harlem, from Washington Heights and Jackson Heights, from Bed-Stuy and Hunt’s Point and from Jamaica and Staten Island. There will be students from CUNY, Columbia and dozens of other campuses from this area, people from Newark and Paterson and Hartford, numbering in the thousands and thousands. We will be joined by thousands and thousands more from Atlanta and Chicago, from Detroit and Cleveland, from New Orleans and Mississippi and many other places. Millions of people all across the country and around the world will hear our powerful cry – WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Millions more are gonna say, okay, I gotta choose sides and many of them will decide they have to be with the ones trying to STOP this.
We will change history. We will inspire thousands and yes millions, who are tired of being treated like criminals and tired of seeing cops patrolling their communities like occupying armies, to see that they don’t have to take this, to see that it’s their fault. And they will stand up and act to stop this. We will rally to their side thousands of people from other sections of society who refuse to stand aside while horrors are inflicted on people because of the color of their skin. We will open the eyes of those who don’t suffer these horrors, challenging them to quit swallowing the lying justifications the authorities give for continuing to give a green light to killer cops, challenging them to get off the sidelines – Which Side Are You On? Are you on the side of acting to STOP these horrors? Or are you on the side of continuing to let them go down? There’s no middle ground, no neutrality, on this. You gotta choose a side. And I don’t mean just giving us your sympathy. I mean actively joining in the resistance and mobilizing others to resist too. You gotta join with this effort to make Oct 24 as powerful as possible. You gotta listen when somebody here tonight tells you what you can do and who you can hook up with to be part of#RiseUpOctober, or and let me be real – if you and people like you don’t throw in on this – it ain’t gonna happen.
And it HAS to happen.
#RiseUpOctober: Shut Down Rikers Island
It’s been called “New York’s Abu Ghraib,” a combination torture chamber & concentration camp. After years of exposure, after lawsuits and decrees, horrors that shock the conscience continue unabated. In the country’s largest jail, lives are irreparably damaged every day.
19th Avenue and Hazen Street
To join the action or provide support: AddMyVoice@RiseUpOctober.org
(By bus: Take MTA Q101. The first bus stop is the route is on 2nd Avenue between 60th and 61st streets. It is on the West side of the street.
From wherever you live, make plans to get to the Q101 bus stop at 8:00. The closest trains are the F train to
63rd & Lexington, or the 4,5,6,N,Q, R trains to 59th and Lexington.
The Q101 bus comes every 12 minutes (or so) and takes approximately 45 minutes to get to the Queens entrance to Rikers Island. Relax, sit back, you can’t get lost. You are taking this bus to the last stop. You will be dropped off within eyesight of the big “Welcome to Rikers” sign that is at the intersection of Hazen Street and 19th Avenue.
We will be gathering one block up on Hazen street (away from the bridge) at a little corner just
up the street. Look for the people with the big enlargements of people’s faces. These are the
faces of people who were killed by medical neglect or guard brutality at Rikers. MORE DETAILED DIRECTION SHEET POSTED BELOW)
As part of #RiseUpOctober, join in a non-violent direct action and protest to Shut Down Rikers Island. Sign up to be part of the action, or to provide support. Write: firstname.lastname@example.org
And flood the streets on October 24:
Also, take part in the national October 22 National Day of Protest to STOP Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation across the country:
It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love and support one another.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
And according to that pix11.com Petition launched to change name of Rikers Island amid slavery connection article that has something to do with Rikers being named after Richard Riker who used bounty hunters to collect slaves from the south, Rikers Island still has the name Rikers. And short of LaGuardia airport shutting down Rikers and expanding it’s runways into the Bronx, Rikers Island Correctional Facility still seems to be open for business. And there were articles with titles like: Videos: 11 People Arrested During “Rise Up October” Protest Against Police Brutality, PBA president calls for boycott of Quentin Tarantino movies after he joins ‘Rise Up October’ protests, Arrests made during Rikers Island protest, Protesters SHUT DOWN Rikers Island Prison and more. And going near the displaced visitors at that Shut Down Rikers Island protest, was the scariest part of it all. #visitsarecancelledfortheday. And whether or not there’ll be another one of those #shutdownrikersisland protests, or #RiseUpOctober protests against police brutality remains to be seen. And according to that NAACP photo posted above, “Welcome to America, home to 5% of the world’s people and 25% of the world’s prisoners. And Rikers Island is one of the ten worst prisons in America. And New York City is what a police state looks like. And Rikers Island is what a police state looks like. No one is free when others are oppressed. Is another world possible. And what does this have to do with a No Police State.