Thousands of persons on the route of the Harlem March Against Racist Killings expressed their support and solidarity with the event which began with a rally at Marcus Garvey Park and ended with another rally in front of the Harlem State Office Building on 125th Street.
More than 200 persons marched from 124th Street and 5th Avenue, up to 135th Street and back down to 125th Street and Adam clayton Powell Boulevard. As several participants noted, the march received the warmest and most militant expressions of support as it passed through working class sections of Harlem. People eagerly approached the marchers to request literature and shout encouragement. Many said that it was about time that someone took the streets in the community to denounce the killings. The event was one of many which have been organized recently by Occupy Harlem which is headed by Nellie Bailey.
The focus of the march was the recent killing of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Florida. However, at the rallies, the names of many of the countless victims, mostly Black and Latino, were also mentioned. Mrs. Henry, the grandmother of Ramarley Graham, an unarmed 16 year old who was killed by a cop in the bathroom of the youth’s home in front of his six year old brother was one of the speakers in front of the State office Building.
Participants in the event also included: Valerie Orridge, a retired nurse who is president of the Delano Village Tenants Association; Cornelius Ricks of the Harlem Law Library Project; professor Bill Sales; Karim Abdul Muhammad of the Circle of Brothers; Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report; Ralph Pointer, husband of jailed lawyer and political prisoner, Lynne Stewart; Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party; members of the Peace and Justice Committee of St. Mary’s Church in Harlem; Bill Henry of Hands Across Harlem; members of the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops; the Chinese Staff and Workers Association; Families Against Stop and Frisk; members of the Socialist Freedom Party; Cleo silvers; Jazz Hayden; Marty Goodman, a member of the Transit Workers Union; Larry Holmes of the International Action Center; and others.
Nellie Bailey announced that the work that went into the march and the event itself are part of a broader strategy approved in meetings of Occupy Harlem to create a city-wide United Front Against Racist Violence. She stated that work on this important United Front will continue in the next meeting of occupy Harlem.
In the meantime, Occupy Harlem will participate in the following events: the immigrant workers march in solidarity with May 1 on Saturday April 28 in Queens parting at 2PM from the Philippine Forum located at 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue; and International Workers Day on Tuesday, May 1 at Union Square Park.
thanks to Daniel Rivera for photos and text.