At the invitation of a comrade from Flatbush, I went down for the second straight night tonight to the protests surrounding Kimani Gray's murder at 55th & Church. For the maybe first time in over a year, I was at a protest but was just along for the ride — very much in the back seat. But it was perhaps the most mind-blowing protest I have ever been to. Felt humbled and at times scared — in the presence of a very deep and intense force surging up, demanding to be heard.
A few moments that stick in my head:
* A crowd of protesters being pushed aggressively out of the street in front of the 67th precinct by riot cops, turning on a dime, sprinting in the opposite direction, finding and surrounding a cop car, shoving it and hitting its windows, dispersed only by a barrage of pepper spray to their faces from the terrified cop inside the car
* A teenage girl staring down a line of riot cops and yelling "MURDERERS!" fearlessly at the top of her lungs into their stone cold faces
* The look of panic on the driver of a police van's face after the rear window of his van was smashed, seemingly from nowhere
* A crowd being pushed down a side street by scooter cops, followed minutes later by a shower of glass bottles flying from apartment buildings onto the heads of the scooter cops
* A car by Kimani's memorial blasting Bob Marley's "War" and a mass of quiet, somber people pulsing and bobbing their heads in slowly growing rage
Bob Marley's "War" on YouTube.