Militant Journalism

MLK Protests on the trains and streets of NYC

Taking the movement to the trains on Martin Luther King’s birthday

On Jan. 15, the ANSWER Coalition called for students, communities and workers to flood the subways with messages of justice in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. At each of the announced locations, both uniformed and plain clothes cops waited at the subway entrances attempting to stop a completely legal activity. The show of force was designed to intimidate volunteers who still rode the trains.

In order to engage subway riders, volunteers did a call-and-response chant of “This Stops Today!” every time a story of a police brutality was told. Community reception was positive and many people were thankful that we honored Dr. King by speaking out.

Later, on Jan. 19, two marches took place in New York City with the purpose of reclaiming Dr. King’s legacy, especially in the midst of the current movement against police brutality. One march converged in Harlem at 110 Street and Lenox Ave. and marched to the United Nations, organizing a die-in along the way. Led primarily by Black youth, the march galvanized the community as it marched through East Harlem and the Upper East Side. The other march began at Union Square and many families that have been victims of police brutality participated.

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