Contact: Joyce Robbins 347.450.7763 / Steve Yip 917.868.6007 http://www.stopmassincarceration.org
It’s Whistle Time at 1 Police Plaza; Cornel West & Opponents of Stop-and-Frisk to Blow the Whistle on NYPD Policy
What: Rally & Photo Op, March
When: Wednesday, August 29 12:00 pm
Where: 1 Police Plaza, New York NY
Cornel West, Carl Dix, and several others who began a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience last year to end the controversial NYPD practice of stop-and-frisk will announce Wednesday a new and more widespread wave of public protest beginning September 13.
They will announce the plan at 1 Police Plaza because they say “Horrible crimes are being perpetrated throughout New York City. These crimes are being masterminded from NYPD headquarters.” Saying that people are being subjected to harassment, disrespect and brutality solely because of the color of their skin, Dix says, “On Sept 13, we will drive a nail into the coffin of stop-and-frisk.”
“People armed with whistles and cameras are going to search out and politically confront police who are violating people’s rights, delivering the strong message that ‘Today, no one will be subjected to this abuse in silence’,” he explains.
Dr. West, who begins teaching at Union Theological Seminary next week, was convicted of Disorderly Conduct on May 4, along with Dix, Rev. Steven Phelps of The Riverside Church and 17 others, for blocking the entrance to the 28th Precinct in Harlem to protest stop-and-frisk in October.
A young man arrested at that same action, but not involved in the civil disobedience, “Noche” Diaz, is to be tried on Wednesday September 5 in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges he obstructed police as they tried to arrest another protester, though that person was never identified nor arrested. Prosecutors are trying Diaz, an organizer with the Blow the Whistle campaign, at the same time for similar charges in March 2012, in what supporters call a “prejudicial” prosecution.
Diaz’ supporters will deliver hundreds of letters to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office on Wednesday, demanding that he drop the charges against Diaz, who faces years in jail on multiple misdemeanor charges, and against 19 other protesters who still face trial in Brooklyn and Queens. Organizers say that, rather than facing jail time for protesting an “unconstitutional, illegal, and racist practice, these new freedom fighters should get medals. Stop-and-frisk doesn’t stop crime. Stop-and-Frisk is the crime.”
Endorsers of the event are available for interviews.