I felt very proud to see people of all colours out on the streets of New York last week taking part in well-coordinated civil disobedience protests in support of the Sean Bell movement. Or should I say in protest at the acquittal of the 3 police officers who killed Sean Bell.
I have to admit I wasn’t there although I really wanted to be but hey, I’m not an American citizen and I don’t want any reason to be deported. lol. I’m serious! I can just imagine some police man saying “who is this journalist chick out on the streets of New York causing disobedience!? Send her home!!”. Reverend Al Sharpton was very good in issuing guidelines for those who were involved in the civil disobedience acts to ensure that nobody ended up in the slammer for real.
Rev Al Sharpton, Nicole Paultre Bell, Sean Bell’s friends, family and thousands of other outraged New Yorkers peacefully brought New York traffic to a standstill. Targetting rush hour traffic by protesting on the main bridges that lead into and out of the city, Rev Sharpton brought home the point that any of those motorists, sitting peacefully in their cars, could have been Sean Bell.
I was also glad to see the impact that people can have when they decide to protest peacefully. When people are oppressed and feel that their voices won’t be, or aren’t, heard, violence is often considered to be the only viable course of action. Sure it makes people listen, but for the wrong reasons. New York definitely sat up and took notice last week.
I can’t wait to find out what else is planned. Hopefully this time I’ll be able to join in.