Garner protests have changed talk on race - Metro US

Garner protests have changed talk on race

From the Millions March.
Miles Dixon

After tens of thousands of protesters marched on New York and Washington D.C. on Saturday against police on Sunday, Millions March co-organizer Sabaah Jordan doesn’t think the demonstrations are going to stop any time soon.

“We got 60,000 people into the streets, we had the streets blocked off from Washington Square to 32nd Street, and we did this with all those people, and it was peaceful,” Jordan said.

Jordan told Metro on Sunday that while it was too soon to know when the next planned protest would be held, more than two weeks of street protests following the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Akai Gurley have already helped America talk more openly about race.

“I’m really proud that people have the courage to say ‘no more of this,’” Jordan said. “We should recognize that there is a problem affecting black people in this country, and we want a better country than that.”

Jordan said alleged assault of two police officers on the Brooklyn Bridge late Saturday by a Baruch College was an isolated incident that won’t affect the movement’s momentum.

“Crime happens,” Jordan said. “I really think this takes away, stops people from paying attention to the fact that people are dying at the hands of police.”

“I think this movement is being sustained by thousands of protesters who will continue to peacefully disrupt ‘business as usual’ across the country until they see meaningful changes in law enforcement practices and accountability mechanisms,” said Jeffrey Smith, a professor of urban policy at the Milano School for International Affairs at The New School, and author of the e-book “Ferguson in Black and White.”

“It’s probably unlikely that this movement will ever command the support of a broad majority of America; a majority of whites trust the cops and, unless things get much worse, will continue to,” Smith said. “But winning over a majority may not be the point, though. Causing discomfort for them — and the people they elect — is the point.”

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