March Against Stop-and-Frisk Fills Twenty Blocks With ‘Deafening Silence’

06.18.12 Allison Burtch

In a demonstration spearheaded by the NAACP and nearly 300 coalition groups, thousands marched in a silent Father’s Day protest against the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy. Reports indicate that upwards of 5,000 people silently marched from 110th to 78th down 5th Ave, passing Mayor Bloomberg’s house.

We’ve written about Bloomberg and Ray Kelly’s stop-and-frisk policy before and how it disproportionately affects communities of color. The fury seems to be reaching a head as the NYPD is on its way to stop and frisk an unprecedented amount of people. In 2011, the NYCLU recorded that the NYPD stopped and frisked nearly 700,000 people. The NYCLU recently came out with an app that empowers communities to record the police when they are stopping and frisking someone.

“We are black, white, Asian, LGBT, straight, Jewish, Muslim and Christian,” said New York City Council member Jumaane Williams, also an active Occupy-supporter, before the march. “Mayor Bloomberg has been our great uniter. We’ve been screaming loudly, and he hasn’t heard us, but hopefully he’ll hear the deafening silence.”

The demonstration at one point stretched between 20 and 25 blocks, with thousands marching silently.

At the end of the march, on E. 78th and 5th Ave, a block away from Bloomberg’s house, marchers congregated on the corner sidewalk and began shouting “we will not be silent when cops are violent.”

Though everything was peaceful, the NYPD doesn’t seem to like groups of people exercising their rights. In this video, the NYPD begin to move in and divide the crowd into three sections on 5th Ave, and north and south of E. 78th. Here’s another video of George Martinez confronting a cop for manhandling a demonstrator.

At one point, I was with a group on E. 79th and Madison on public sidewalks. The police said “everyone must leave,” and forced the crowd away. Overall, the march was extremely peaceful and powerful.

(Photo: NYCLU/Facebook)

(Photo: NYCLU/Facebook)

(Photo: Allison Burtch/ANIMAL New York)


(Photo: Sharese Ann Frederick/Flickr)