As promised, the Nicole Bell (wife of Sean Bell) Rev. Al Shapton and hundreds of New Yorkers were arrested in citywide protests against the Sean Bell verdict. According this story in the New York Times,
The demonstrations, described by the Rev. Al. Sharpton as “pray-ins,” played out on a bright spring afternoon as boisterous displays of civil disobedience in which people signed up to be arrested, assuring organizers and lawyers that they were carrying proper identification to show to the police.
Once positioned at the intersections, demonstrators dropped to their knees or sat and prayed briefly before hundreds of police officers escorted them to buses and police vehicles.
These protests come at a critical time as local, state and federal elites – including black, Latino and other elites “of color” who constitutionally avoid dealing with police and other state violence- gear up to further ratchet up the already repressive legal and law enforcement structures they see as necessary to maintain order-and profits.
So, saludos to Nicole Bell, Rev. Al Sharpton and the hundreds of activists here in NYC for responding to such injustices with civil disobedience. May more of us follow your example before the increased state violence and repression that looms alongside the economic meltdown.
In the face of growing government violence, civil disobedience is not an option-it’s our duty.