Rain and cold weather didn’t stop people from demonstrating against police violence in New York City on Feb. 23. They marched from 138th Street and Third Avenue in the South Bronx to the Harlem State Office Building on 125th Street.
The “Stop the Cops” march commemorated the first anniversary of the deaths of Ramarley Graham in the Bronx and Trayvon Martin in Florida. Ramarley Graham was shot in the bathroom of his own home by police officer Richard Haste on Feb. 2, 2012. Trayvon Martin was killed by wannabe cop George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012.
The “call to action” for the march demanded the cops stop frisking and brutalizing youths, stop targeting immigrant and Muslim communities, and stop harassing women and LGBTQ people. Other demands included “Jobs, not jails” and shutting down Rikers Island, the largest prison in the United States.
Many organizations came out to march. They included the Answer Coalition, Parents Against Police Brutality, Cop Watch, the Justice Committee, Students United for a Free CUNY, the New Black Panther Party, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the International Action Center and Workers World Party.
The rap group Rebel Diaz revved up people with their revolutionary politics. Juanita Young, whose son, Malcolm Ferguson, was killed by a New York police officer on March 1, 2000, marched as did the Association Pro Inmates Rights Ñeta.
In their first action, members of Red Youth — a communist youth group — marched in this demonstration with their signs and chants.