March 14, 2013
Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, email@example.com
“No to Martial Law in East Flatbush! Rise Up Against Police Violence!” –BAYAN-USA
New York, NY—Filipino Americans, under the banner of BAYAN-USA, vehemently condemn the State of Exception, or Frozen Zone, status that has been placed by the New York Police Department on the Brooklyn neighborhood of East Flatbush. It is an illustration of the NYPD’s fascist law enforcement tactics which have led to the brutal murder of 16-year-old Kimani “Kiki” Gray—who was shot 11 times by plainclothes NYPD officers earlier this week—as well as the subsequent unwarranted arrests of 50 community members, including allies of BAYAN-USA, who were rightfully exercising their freedom to assemble in a three-days-long protest vigil in Gray’s memory.
Today, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, marks the 5,000,000th case of stop-and-frisk by the NYPD under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Poor communities and communities of color have been disproportionately and unjustly targeted by increased incidences of stop-and-frisk, police brutality, and killings. This pattern has angered these communities, many of whom have organized neighborhood Cop Watch Teams to defend themselves and document police activity to demand accountability for abuses of power. BAYAN-USA has joined such efforts in New York City.
The NYPD is an inherently repressive institution that protects the interests of the wealthy and actively terrorizes oppressed communities. It takes orders from Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was appointed by billionaire Mayor Bloomberg, and who has actively defended the NYPD’s actions in Gray’s senseless killing. The NYPD has also expanded its police state beyond the borders of New York City, and trained the Philippine National Police in its surveillance and counterinsurgency tactics, which has led to gross human rights violations.
The Frozen Zone puts East Flatbush under a state of martial law, which is reminiscent of the Martial Law Era of the Philippines. It limits press access to activities on the ground, preventing facts from being reported to the public. It unlawfully suspends people’s constitutional rights, and subjects all to arrest, in order for the NYPD to wield its power with impunity. The Frozen Zone is a tool to deliberately silence protest and resistance—in this case, protest that is against the very institution that is impeding upon the people’s rights.
As we have witnessed in the consistent protest actions against Gray’s killing, police violence will not silence people’s protest, but will in fact fuel it. In solidarity with the community of East Flatbush, BAYAN-USA calls on all communities affected by police terror to rise up and defend their rights and dignity! The people must build an organized mass movement against police violence to ensure community safety!
RELEASE ALL ARRESTED COMMUNITY MEMBERS! DROP ALL CHARGES!
JUSTICE FOR KIMANI “KIKI” GRAY AND ALL VICTIMS OF POLICE VIOLENCE!
NO TO MARTIAL LAW IN EAST FLATBUSH!
MAKIBAKA! HUWAG MATAKOT! (DARE TO STRUGGLE! DON’T BE AFRAID!)
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org.