Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Protests Over Sean Bell Verdict Today, How Will The NYPD Respond?

Today a sizeable portion of the community will come out and address a serious problem in our city and our country by protesting one example of our national dilemma. Racism is still alive and well in the United States, despite having someone of color as the Democratic nominee (almost). The death of Sean Bell and the resulting "Not Guilty" verdict stunk to high hell and reminded Americans of the realities of race in our nation. Today the community will speak, pray and protest that outcome in our legal system.

From The NY Daily News:

Prayers and protests by Sean Bell supporters could turn Wednesday's evening commute into a New York nightmare.

Led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, the demonstrators have chosen six spots around the city - that also happen to be near key transit locations - to stage "pray-ins" aimed at getting the attention of the feds.

The protesters will begin mobilizing at 3 p.m., and simultaneous demonstrations will be staged in front of federal buildings in Chicago and Atlanta, where the Bell tragedy has also sparked outrage among African-Americans.

Sharpton insisted the demonstrations will be peaceful, but he's willing to get arrested to protest the acquittal of the three cops who gunned Bell down on his wedding day in a 50-bullet barrage.

Sharpton is a controversial figure in our society, but the people who are protesting with him are not. They are Americans, just like everyone else that lives in these 50 states. They want the same things as the rest of us. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights that should be afforded to everyone, but they weren't to Sean Bell. Then justice for him and his family were thrown out the window as well. If our government isn't going to give that to him, then the people must take it for themselves.

Riots aren't the answer, they never are, though sometimes they happen to vent the rage that simmers under the surface of society. Today though, many will peacefully protests and cause some traffic jams in our city and others. If the police think that is something to arrest people over considering what they are protesting, then their image is going to continue to be tattered. Bloomberg said no one's rights will be violated, but we'll see if the NYPD follows that starting at 3pm this afternoon.