Date(s) - 05/10/17
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
New York City Hall
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May Day Union Square Coalition
Contact: Teresa Gutierrez 917-328-6470
PROTEST ARRESTEES TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE DENOUNCING THE NYPD CRACKDOWN ON THE MAY DAY UNION SQUARE DEMONSTRATION
Wednesday, May 10 • 1:00 PM
East Side of City Hall
Around the world, May 1 is a day to champion and celebrate workers’ rights. In the U.S. this year, this celebration necessarily focused on the increasing anti-migrant worker attacks, arrests, violence and scapegoating ushered in by the Trump regime.
For the NYPD, May 1 was an excuse to violently crack down on the free speech rights of migrant workers and their allies – by harassing protesters, breaking up the march route into several segments and arresting and assaulting more than 30 people for minor infractions like stepping off the sidewalk or wearing a handkerchief on their face.
This Wednesday, May 10, at 1:00 PM at City Hall, May 1 arrestees and migrant leaders will hold a press conference to expose the NYPD’s thuggish anti-first amendment tactics and demand that people’s protests be allowed to take place free of harassment.
The vast majority of May Day arrests were made after police forced thousands of marchers onto sidewalks — then arrested those who were jostled into the streets.
“The NYPD’s repression of the rally was characterized by the arrests and violence against migrant workers, and included the targeting of LGBTQ leaders, Black Lives Matter activists, and Antifa activists,” said Teresa Gutierrez of the May Day Union Square Coalition.
“Meanwhile, the white supremacists who came to attack and infiltrate the rally were protected and enabled by the police,” Gutierrez added.
“Police overwhelmed a march dedicated to defending the lives and livelihoods of immigrant workers,” she continued, “with thousands of cops, helicopters, the hyper-aggressive Strategic Response Group, and armed undercover plainthclothes cops.”
“Mayor de Blasio has given lip service to defending immigrants, but his support of broken windows policing, done to support the racist gentrification of our city, is directly responsible for the police repression of the May Day march,” said Nina Macapinlac of BAYAN-USA, one of the May Day Union Square Coalition groups. “Broken windows policing has fueled the rapid militarization of the NYPD and the aggressive assault on freedom of assembly that we witnessed on May 1.”
New York City is known for its marches and marathons that close down entire streets and re-route traffic, while the thousands who marched on May Day 2017 were forced by the NYPD onto sidewalks, putting protesters in harm’s way and making conditions dangerous for users of wheelchairs and walkers.
Berna Ellorin of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, another May Day coalition group, said, “We have the right to protest the policies of the Trump administration, and we will continue to do so despite the increasing militarization of the police to intimidate, suppress dissent and curtail free speech.”
“The real criminals are not protesters or immigrants,” Ellorin said. “The real criminals are those bombing poor countries and plotting to take away people’s health insurance.”