A coalition of groups plan to host three days of protests across New York City this week in an effort to call attention to systemic racism, mass incarceration and police brutality.
Organizers of the demonstrations, dubbed #RiseUpOctober, will focus on police-involved killings by staging several acts of civil disobedience on Thursday and Friday as well as by hosting a large march on Saturday with families of people killed by officers. The events come as the nation continues to debate the relationship between police and communities of color and after several high profile police killings were captured on video over the last year.
“We are trying to keep the pressure on the powers that be to let them know that we have a deep and abiding love for our precious brothers and sisters who are being brutalized and terrorized by too many police,” said activist and author Cornel West Monday at a press conference detailing the events. “When police engage in arbitrary police power and when they actually kill fellow citizens, they must go to jail.”
West, who is helping organize #RiseUpOctober, said that people must continue to gather in the streets and challenge a criminal justice system that disproportionately criminalizes people of color. He and other leaders say the events are a way to demand that officer-involved killings be investigated differently and that people be treated more fairly.
#RiseUpOctober begins Thursday at 10 a.m. in Times Square where protesters, faith leaders and families will read the names of hundreds of people killed by law enforcement officials across the country. Demonstrators will also hold a rally later that day and a march to Brooklyn.
On Friday, protesters will call for the closure of Rikers Island prison. On Saturday, protesters will gather at 11 a.m. for a culminating rally in Manhattan and march throughout the city that afternoon.
Source: USA Today | Yamiche Alcindor