“A Stream of Whistles... Like a Chain Reaction”

October 7, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The following comments are from a man in Harlem:

They try to treat us like cattle!... They got these police coming through here overbearing, stopping people on the street. They focus on the projects. I go to the liquor store and I come back and there’s six officers harassing some of the older people. They looked at us like we violating the law by laughing at them! “Hey You! Where the fuck you goin’?!” I’m just trying to get out they way! I’m a grown-ass man, 41 years old, white hair on my face, five kids and this young ... assed officer talking to me like that! If you want courtesy and respect from me you don’t talk to people like that! That’s what they were doin’ to people for no reason! We just sittin’ in front of my own home! I live here! I gotta get up and leave to avoid being harassed by them! Why am I out here? I live here! Why YOU here?...

...So two days after this I was sitting in my house watching a program and out of nowhere I hear a stream of whistles go off! It sounded like the whole neighborhood! It made me get up go look out my window and I saw 50 squad cars surrounding the projects and all out in the streets there’s these young kids out here blowing these whistles lettin’ everybody know they out here. It was a beautiful scene! I mean they were all over the block! In this block they was blowin’ whistles. Across the street over there blowin’ whistles. They was in the park blowin’ whistles. It had to be out the windows too! It was whistles everywhere, this was like a chain reaction all up and down here!

The adults were aware! It was like there were smiles on everybody’s faces, it was the children like awakening us. LOOK! Don’t just look, but LOOK!!! They out here in the projects they doin’ something unordinary! It was like 50 like lit-up cars surrounding the projects riding around the projects!...

I believe September 13 was a day of the beginning of people joining to stop being silent. I believe a lot of people were influenced by that day. You got a lot of people commenting about what y’all did around here. I think a lot of people didn’t show up but they got more ambition, you know, about being a part of something. I think September 13 was a strong positive statement. We are alive!

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