Repression & Resistance: Week in Protest, January 15-21

Cover photo of police attack on MLK march in NYC by Bruce Schaff

“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.

National

Following the January 6 Trump riots, several state legislatures saw a slate of new bill filings seeking to further criminalize protests, many following up on discussions that had begun after the May Uprisings last year. Bourgeois politicians in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island have introduced bills that would allow for harsher penalties against protesters: some would make anyone perceived to be participating in a riot able to be charged with a felony, others would allow for longer periods for police detainment of protesters, while many increase fines and sentences for obstructing traffic.

New York City, NY

A march commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday which started at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was cut off by police as it headed towards city hall. When police advanced to make arrests they were barraged by glass bottles, with one captain being hit in the head. 11 officers total were injured and at least 28 protesters were arrested.

Sacramento, CA

Outside of Sacramento in the suburb of Vacaville, another march honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., which began at Andrews Park culminated when it reached the downtown area where windows at city hall and the police station were smashed and anti-police graffiti was spray-painted on the walls.

City photo of police station damage

Seattle, WA

Hundreds participated in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., march in Seattle, and a dozen protesters were arrested after blocking traffic on the I-5 highway.

Los Angeles, CA

On Martin Luther King day, black teenager Malik Aaron and a couple of his friends were profiled by employees at a Westlake Village Target store and blocked in by employees under the false suspicion that they were attempting to steal cell phones. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrived and assaulted Malik and his friends, breaking Malik’s phone in the process, and led them out of the store in handcuffs. A video of the police brutality was shared on Facebook and attorneys representing Malik’s family will be filing a civil lawsuit.

Omaha, NE

A young man has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for allegedly bringing a molotov cocktail to a May 31, protest last year in Omaha following the police murder of George Floyd. The night before in that city, bar owner Jacob Gardner had shot and killed protester James Scurlock. Gardner committed suicide last September after being charged with manslaughter.

May 29 Protest in Omaha by Chris Machian

Cedar Falls, IA

Students at Holmes Junior High school walked out of class in defiance of school administration to protest a social media post made by one student which displayed a racial slur. The group chanted, “No Justice, No peace!” and “Black Lives Matter!”

Photo by KWWL

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