Indy Blog

Domino Sugar Factory
Brooklyn, New York

“Please sign a waiver, this is private property and a live construction sight.”

Inside, my nostrils are filled with the smell of an old; rusted steel and heavy breathing – the scent that once clung to my grandmother’s clothing after hours of working metal through sheer fabric. I imagine this is what her bones smell like.

“Every time you see me, you wanna mess with me!” Eric Garner yelled at police last Thursday shortly before he was killed. “I’m tired of it. This stops today!”

On Monday afternoon anti-police brutality activists took Garner’s words to heart as they held a heavily attended sidewalk press conference and rally outside City Hall to call for sweeping changes to the New York Police Department.

It was a startling scene on Monday outside a pro-Israel press conference in downtown Manhattan. Scores of protestors, separated from their representatives by yards of concrete, police barriers and metal gates, shouted down the small group of New York politicians and reporters huddled together in front of City Hall like emperor penguins.

We’ve been sweltering in solidarity for over forty minutes now, between 42nd and 43rd Streets on 8th Avenue, parked across from the Israeli consulate building and preparing to march on the corporate headquarters of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox News. As I scan the crowd, I see a young boy hoisted on his father’s shoulders.

After Governor Andrew Cuomo abruptly canceled a campaign luncheon outside the Plaza Hotel in Midtown on Tuesday, many protestors who had organized an anti-fracking rally across the street wondered if the governor was ducking a movement that has hounded him at almost every public appearance in the last few years.

Israel has been shaken by the horrific discovery of the bodies of three young teenagers, buried under a shallow pile of rocks just north of the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank. Naftali (16), Gilad (16) and Edal (19) had been kidnapped near the Gush Etzion settlements on June 12 while hitchhiking home from their yeshivas, and it is suspected that they were fatally shot shortly thereafter. For days now, the country has been transfixed by a sense of collective mourning and shared sympathy for the boys’ families.

The flag like a curtain, a wizard behind it, counting money
an idea colored red, colored white, colored blue
of Americans cheering independence
drunk and dancing around a fire, the smoke of war

an idea colored red, colored white, colored blue
fireworks scar eyes with light, we scream
drunk and dancing around a fire, the smoke of war
we blow from our mouths, it tastes like victory

Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan became a symbol of the state’s crackdown against that movement when she was convicted in May of felony assault of a police officer. Many of her supporters criticized the proceedings as a “show trial” presided over by a biased judge. During her time behind bars, McMillan did not stop organizing and fighting for justice.

“You are recreating the very racism this art is supposed to critique,” I yelled. The visitors lowered their cameras. Just seconds ago, they had been aiming their lenses at the sculpture of a 40-foot tall, nude black female sphinx. Many posed under its ass; some laughed and pointed at its vulva. As I watched their joking, my thoughts spun and I walked into the crowd, turned to face them and began yelling.

In the Southwest corner of Union Square, under the gaze of the park’s statue of Mahatma Ghandi, demonstrators lined up on Thursday evening to protest the violent crackdown by Israeli forces that have poured into Palestinian territory to search for three Israeli teenagers who disappeared two weeks ago. So far, Israeli soldiers have killed six Palestinians and arrested at least 371 others in their search for the missing boys, who Israel says were kidnapped from a West Bank settlement by members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.