Gamechanger: Worker Centers Demand End to Police State
August 6, 2015
As the NYPD was hosting their annual Night Out to promote community relations and boost their public relations on August 4th, they were met by a protest of over 80 New Yorkers daring to imagine #SafetyBeyondPolicing and hold police accountable for the rampant police brutality and killings. Check out pictures from the action.
The New York Worker Center Federation (WCF) led a coalition that included ICE Free NYC, Safety Beyond Policing, Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, NY Prison Divestment Campaign, ROC United, OPEIU, and Million Hoodies in a Night Out for Safety and Liberation.
Marchers gathered outside the Varick Street Immigrant Detention Center, exposing the immigrant home raids that have gone largely unnoticed by the media. Workers and community members called for an end to all forms of state and corporate violence.
The group then seemingly dispersed from the site to end their protest. However protestors continued to march down the streets until reaching the bbq hosted by the NYPD. To say that the police were completely caught off guard is to understate what happened. Marchers gathered in front of the stage where musicians were performing and the police tabled with propaganda on their community work. Protestors reminded the police and the crowd gathered that this “community bbq” does not overshadow the recent police killings, police brutality, the addition of 1,300 new cops, and immigrant raids. The growing Police State in NYC and the violence it perpetuates/instigates was not going to be remedied by a summer bbq. The first step is to end police violence against our communities and hold police accountable for their crimes.
Marchers set up next to the police bbq to hold a community event to discuss what #SafetyIs and what they believe and envision #SafetyBeyondPolicing looking like. Street vendors spoke about how police harass them and the need for more vending permits. Restaurant workers spoke about the need for one fair wage for all workers. Police accountability organizers spoke to the need to reduce the police force and allocate more services to the community. Immigrant rights advocates called for an end to all raids and immigrant detention. Workers spoke about the lack of health and safety in the workplace and in their community, highlighting the incredible #Justice4Delfino campaign. Prison Divest campaigners spoke about the need to divest from prisons and shift resources to humanity and transformative justice. The Queer/ LGBT community spoke out against the 300 new counter terrorism NYPD cops that will terrorize communities not make them feel safer.
Communities around the country joined the call for a Night Out for Safety and Liberation, imagining safety outside of more police, raids, and prisons. Members of the WCF will continue innovating in building to create safety at their workplace and in their community. The WCF is creating an intersectional work movement led by immigrant workers. Check out pictures from this amazing action.
New York Worker Center Federation (WCF) is collaboration of Cidadao Global, DRUM South Asian Worker Center, El Centro, NICE, Street Vendor Project, and Enlace.