The Global Justice workgroup of Occupy Wall Street is marching to end stop and frisk because people around the world are facing an escalation of militarized policing and state repression. The occupy movement stands against the neoliberal economic order, which plunders public wealth to benefit an elite few. This power structure is overwhelmingly stacked against labor, communities of color, collective prosperity and individual freedoms, in favor of corporate profits. The racist practice of stop and frisk is one of the many racialized tactics our local police force uses to bolster the domestic socioeconomic order, just as our military maintains US corporate interests abroad.
We march because police brutality and repressive policies are nothing new to communities of color, especially to Black and Latino communities in the US. While Black and Latino males ages 14 to 24 make up 4.7 percent of NYC’s population, they accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011, meaning that the same youths were stopped and frisked over and over again.
The racist logic of “guilty until proven innocent” underpins the dehumanization and demonization of whole communities, from Gaza to the Bronx. Racism is what legitimates and underlies the rhetoric of imperialism, the war on terror, Islamophobia and pro-war propaganda toward Afghanistan and Iran; racism is what drives US immigration policy, and justifies US policing methods, the war on drugs, and the legal and prison systems. We march because stop and frisk is a major entry point into a system of mass incarceration, and it is through such racist disciplinary regimes that the status quo is maintained, both domestically and globally.
As the police we see at protests look more and more like soldiers, and as the NYPD continues to target people of color and throw them into prisons and detention centers, it’s clear that a militarized police state plays a key role in maintaining foreign and domestic structures of oppression. The intensive policing of poor communities of color–those most affected by a racialized system of enforced poverty and austerity–serves to incarcerate and instill fear in those most likely to agitate for fundamental change.
People in Egypt and Tunisia, Greece and Spain, New York, Oakland, and Quebec are linked in solidarity by resistance to the depredations of neoliberalism. Opposing racist policing here is part of opposition to a global police state that protects the economic elite, the stability of empire, and the security of capital. We march against stop and frisk because just as our grievances are intertwined, so is our liberation.