Wednesday, May 07, 2008
sean bell protests start at 3pm today!
for interactive map, click here!
i don't know if you're aware of it or not, but there are pray-in protests scheduled at 3pm today in 6 strategic pockets in the city, led by al sharpton and sean bell supporters, as well as mr. bell's friends and family. the intent is to create enough of a furor peacefully to get the federal government to prosecute the police for violating sean bell's civil rights. ideally, the streets will be flooded with people in prayer from harlem to brooklyn -- but i'm not sure how viable that is when the police can arrest you if you are in a group without a permit or if you do not disperse when you are told to do so.
after the nonviolent protests of the 60s and 70s, the state, federal and local authorities know how to deal with this kind of outrage. they know how to process it through the jails and the court systems. and they have laws in place to prosecute them -- for nonviolent protesting. people who aren't involved and who could care less will inevitably feel beset upon -- because if people gather anywhere near the numbers that they're anticipating, it will bring rush hour traffic to a screeching halt.
i think the only way left to protest something like this is to write a song about it that everyone will want to hear and sing along to -- something that is so innocuous, they won't even know what they are singing about, until it's too late.
still and all, i think a pray-in protest is a noble gesture. and at least someone somewhere is doing something -- because dying in a hail of bullets is the last thing that sean bell deserved.