In response to recent protests over police killings of black men nationwide, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has made it abundantly clear that he has little respect for the Black Lives Matter movement. Now, anti-police violence organization Millions Marching NYC is planning on occupying City Hall Park starting on August 1st, with the goal of staying put until Bratton resigns.
1. Fire NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton & end Broken Windows policing
2. Reparations for all survivors & victims of racist police brutality from NYPD budget
3. Defund NYPD’s $5.5 billion annual budget & re-invest into Black & Brown communities
According to Millions March organizer Cleo Jeffryes, the occupation is inspired by similar protests in Los Angeles that have called for the resignation of police chief Charlie Beck. The group is calling for Bratton to resign because of his embrace of Broken Windows policing, which Jeffryes says turns "black and brown citizens into targets."
"We're not targets," Jeffreys said, "we're human beings. Bill Bratton is a racist and a bigot who's done so much to harm the black and brown community."
So, like Occupy Wall Street before them, Millions March NYC is planning on camping out in a highly visible public place and refusing to leave until their demands are met. Jeffryes said that the plans for the occupation include medical training to teach people to deal with tear gas if it's deployed, and political training that will involve giving out "basic literature and propaganda." There are also plans to set up a kitchen and an Amazon account to get donations "if we're not evicted by Tuesday."
Jeffryes said it was too early to tell exactly how many people would be coming out, but that organizers are hoping to start with 1,000 people camping out in the park. While she was adamant that occupiers weren't planning on leaving until their demands were met, she did say that she could be ultimately be happy with the mainstreaming of ideas like taking the NYPD's budget and "putting it back in the black and brown community" in the form of affordable housing, education funding and homeless services, and "putting some real fear into Bill de Blasio and Bill Bratton."
"If our demands aren't met, I'll still be happy people came out," Jeffryes said. "But the movement doesn't stop there, we'll keep working."