Young communists in NYC protest police violence

BY: Maicol David Lynch| June 12, 2020
Young communists in NYC protest police violence


“How do you spell racist? NYPD!” the crowd chanted as we proceeded up Fifth Avenue towards Central Park from Washington Square Park in Manhattan. The Young Communist League Organizing Committee of New York wasted no time mobilizing its members to participate in and even lead the dozens of protests which have taken over the streets of New York City over the past two weeks in light of the recent execution of George Floyd by a racist police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The YCL Organizing Committee of NY was already in the process of mobilizing members and allies to build unemployed councils and to provide mutual aid for neighbors and community members in need in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, to a certain degree, these young comrades were not caught off guard by the massive international response to George Floyd’s murder. One YCL member in Brooklyn has been arrested twice during peaceful protests. Several of our comrades have been fired upon with sonic weapons, tear gas, and rubber bullets for protesting on the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridges before the city-wide curfew even went into effect each night during the first week of protests. Others found themselves stranded in Lower Manhattan or a neighborhood far from home without transportation to get home after 7:30 p.m. Regardless of these hardships, the YCL and CPUSA of NY continue to stay involved in these mass demonstrations despite NYC being the epicenter of the coronavirus up until a few weeks ago.

Young Communists are active from morning until night, whether providing jail support for arrested protesters and mutual aid for fellow demonstrators or marching alongside the wider democratic movement against racism and fascism. Members have shown up at jails and precincts all week—despite police officers insisting that “all prisoners were being held in the suburbs”—to provide disinfecting wipes, water, coffee, snacks, masks, and hand sanitizer to arrested demonstrators after they’ve spent a night in a coronavirus-infected jail cell. Some YCL NY members along with CPUSA veterans stand on the sidelines of marches and hand out snacks, water, and hand sanitizer as protesters pass by while others march in the demonstrations and, on a few occasions, have been asked to lead the march with the large CPUSA banner that reads, “Stop Trump’s New Jim Crow Fascist Danger!”

The message of the Communist Party has become mainstream. Fellow protesters and supporters on the sidewalk give us thumbs-up as we pass by with our banners and signs. Others stop to take pictures of us with our banner and happily accept printed People’s World articles or Jarvis Tyner’s Black Lives Matter pamphlet. The popular demand of these marches is to “Defund the Police.” The masses of protesters, like the Communist Party, seem to understand that community control of the police will enable us to defund, disarm, and ultimately disband the racist police institution altogether. The struggle for police abolition starts now!

Protesters are connecting the struggles against the racist police institution and the neo-fascist danger of the Trump administration. A popular chant heard from Staten Island and Bronx over to Brooklyn and Queens in minority neighborhoods and immigrant communities is “F*** Donald Trump!” and “Dump Trump.” The anger and rage which the ruling-class media portrays as “looting” is actually taking place during these non-violent protests in the form of chanting, clapping, and working-class solidarity.

The Communist Party has stated for decades that the fascist danger must be defeated whenever it arises in order for the working class and progressive democratic movements to change the balance of class forces and improve the terrain on which they must fight their battles. Communists also emphasize the need to expand and build the united movement that has emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, keeping it going all the way to the November elections and beyond.

Image: Maicol Lynch.



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