After the Verdict:
Defiance in the Streets of New York

Revolutionary Worker #1045, March 5, 2000

"Why don't you just shoot him now!?"

A Black man holding his child
up before TV cameras

"If it had been one of us, they would have hung us. They just murdered him. They knew they were going to get off."

Latina from the Bronx

"We have already done more time in jail than the police who brutally murdered Amadou Diallo. They had the freedom to pump 41 bullets into an innocent man but we didn't even have the freedom to walk through his neighborhood to speak out about it."

Statement of arrested protesters
phoned from jail

"It goes back to slavery. They think that we are property and they can kill us."

Unemployed Black man in Harlem

"This is a wallet--DON'T SHOOT!"

"Murderers! Murderers! Amadou!"

"Hey pigs, what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?"

"No Justice, No Peace!"

"From the plantation to the police station!"

Chants from the streets of
Albany and New York City

"Since Clinton came into office, the roundup and deportation of immigrants throughout the country has tripled. Immigrants are hunted down at the border and in the cities, brutalized and murdered. The government's anti-immigrant hysteria has given a green light to the police, military and Border Patrol to kill immigrants with impunity.... Only a determined movement of resistance can stop all brutalities and murders of immigrants. Only the people can win justice."

La Resistencia statement
condemning the verdict

After the Verdict

Since the verdict was announced on Friday, February 25, protest actions and gatherings have been happening in Albany, in the Bronx neighborhood where Amadou Diallo lived, and in the heart of New York's Manhattan. People have shed many tears of frustration, grief and anger together. Many spoke bitterly of how the police consider every Black and Latino person a criminal--and that this had now been openly approved in court.

The killer cops testified in court that Amadou pulled a wallet from his pocket, and that this caused them to kill him, in fear for their lives. Now, wallets held up by protesters have quickly become a new symbol of police brutality--like the toilet plungers people carried after the infamous brutalization of Abner Louima by NYPD cops.

Outside the Albany courthouse, several hundred people protested in the cold rain, with chants of "Murderers! Shame!" That evening protesters marched through the streets of Albany.

In the Bronx, people from the neighborhood and activists from around the city went to the apartment building on Wheeler Avenue where Amadou Diallo was cut down. All evening a crowd gathered in front of Amadou Diallo's doorway, many hundreds of people came and went. People of different nationalities from around the city joined with Black and Latino proletarians from Amadou's neighborhood. At rush hour, several hundred people marched through the neighborhood to the 46th police precinct and blocked a major highway. Dozens of people held up "Killed In Cold Blood by the NYPD" posters from the Revolutionary Worker newspaper.

The police threatened the people of the Bronx and Harlem with a huge show of force. The NYPD reportedly gathered 20,000 cops in Yankee Stadium. About 200 police in riot gear sealed off each exit from the street in front of Amadou's apartment building. More were stationed on nearby roofs and elevated train tracks. Riot police marched up and down the streets in formation.

People remained determined--and many demonstrated all night long. When a group of a few hundred tried repeatedly to march from Amadou's house into the main street nearby, the police confronted them. Neighborhood kids banged on metal store gates. The police attacked the demonstrators, targeting some for arrest. At least 15 protesters were arrested during the evening's actions. Several people were rescued from police hands by other protesters.

Saturday in the Streets

Over 3,000 people rallied in New York City on Saturday for a loud and angry four-mile march through the heart of Manhattan. The wonderful diversity of this crowd showed the hatred of this unjust verdict among people of all nationalities.

The march started near the wealthy midtown shopping district at 5th Avenue and 59th Street--and in four hours of almost constant confrontation with the police, the people made their way south to City Hall--headquarters of the city's hated Mayor Giuliani. There they found the huge iron gates locked, and police massed behind them.

The marchers repeatedly took the street as they moved south, often at a run--as hundreds of riot police tried to contain them with repeated attacks. Marchers blocked Fifth Avenue at Rockefeller Center and then again and again all the way down the length of Manhattan. With wallets held high, people chanted "Murderers!" at the cops, and counted loudly to 41.

When police tried to stop the march, the people broke into at least three different contingents and continued late into the night all over southern Manhattan--through the crowded streets of Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Soho, the East Village, and the downtown financial district. People on the sidewalks cheered and often joined in. Again and again the cops attacked--driving into crowds on mopeds, clubbing people when they could corner them, and arresting at least 95.

Earlier that Saturday morning, over 200 people took part in a packed indoor rally in Harlem that was held at the National Action Network headquarters. Amadou's mother Katiadou Diallo spoke, along with Al Sharpton, U.S. Congressmen Charles Rangel and Jose Serrano, and Norman Siegel of the ACLU.

Other demonstrations were reported in Newark and Atlanta.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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