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NY, Major Cities on Increased Alert for New Year's Eve Anti-Cop Protests

Image: NY, Major Cities on Increased Alert for New Year's Eve Anti-Cop Protests
(Carlo Allegri/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 08:46 AM

A national coalition of activists that has been staging anti-police protests in New York City this month has organized a demonstration on New Year's Eve that will culminate in Times Square to ring in the new year.

The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is also organizing other protests at New Year's Eve celebrations across the country. The cities affected include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle, as well as locations further afield such as Boise, Idaho and Wailuku, Hawaii.

The organization was behind numerous protests across New York City over the last month, most recently defying calls for a moratorium after two police officers were shot and killed.

For the event Wednesday night in New York, called "Rock in the New Year with Resistance to Police Murder," the group has invited 4,000 people and is encouraging other protest groups to stage similar protests, Western Journalism reported.

In a Facebook post about the New York demonstration, organizers refer to "Amerikkka" as a nation in which blacks are the victims of "wanton police murder." "So the powerful, beautiful, and necessary outpourings that have disrupted this society's normal routine must continue and escalate on New Year's Eve and into the New Year," the invitation says.

NYPD Chief of Department James P. O'Neill told Newsday that hundreds of officers and detectives will be monitoring Times Square festivities, slated to draw more hundreds of thousands of people.

"The pens fill up early. I mean, this is a long day," O'Neill said. "You know, people start getting there very early in the morning, so, unless you get there real early, you're probably not going to get close to the stage."

NYPD counterterrorism chief John Miller also told Newsday, "Once they're closed, they're closed. People are free to leave. It's going to be hard to get back in, and I think the protesters will have to deal with that."

"In light of what happened two weeks ago on Saturday, of course, you know there's a concern for every member of the New York City Police Department," O'Neill told Capital New York. "This is something that's in real recent memory, it's something that every cop in New York City is concerned about."

In Boston, activists have promised to stage a "die-in" at Copley Square, located close to a number of the New Year's Eve activities. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Police Commissioner William Evans and other officials discussed preparations at City Hall on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday met with police union bosses in an attempt to repair his relationship with law enforcement.  During the two-hour meeting, union leaders aired their grievances and came away saying there had been "no resolve," CBS News reported.

"Our thought here today is that actions speak louder than words, and time will tell," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, one of the most vocal critics of de Blasio, according to CBS News.

At the meeting, the unions specifically complained about the latitude the mayor's office has given to protesters in recent weeks and also the mayor's relationship with the Rev. Al Sharpton, The New York Times reported.

The rift between New York City's mayor and much of the rank and file has grown considerably in recent weeks, and the leaders of the police union have blamed the mayor for fostering an anti-NYPD atmosphere they believe contributed to the ambush slayings of the two officers earlier this month.

After the shootings, Lynch had suggested that the responsibility for the deaths "starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor."

Twice in a week — at the funeral for one of the officers and the NYPD graduation ceremony on Monday — some officers turned their backs to de Blasio, adding an air of acrimony.

Meanwhile, a suspected gang member was charged on Tuesday with firing at two Los Angeles police officers in their squad car on Sunday. The officers had been driving through an area during an outbreak of gang violence.

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A national coalition of activists which has been staging anti-police protests in New York City this month has organized a demonstration on New Year's Eve that will culminate in Times Square to ring in the new year. The Stop Mass Incarceration Network is also organizing...
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2014-46-31
Wednesday, 31 Dec 2014 08:46 AM
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