On Wednesday night, NYPD officers attacked without provocation members of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization that works on behalf of low-income people of color who are transgender, gender non-conforming, or intersex. The SRLP's press release reported, "two of our community members were violently arrested, and others were pepper sprayed in the face without warning or cause." This happened on an East Village sidewalk, outside a bar where SRLP members and supporters had gathered to celebrate the organization's fifth anniversary, when some of them questioned the NYPD's use of force in arresting a young black man.
...After gathering queer and trans people of color and allies from all over the tri-state area my people, these two, deserved the peace of bass and the release of rhythm. Late Wednesday night, like every night, my people were dancing. But late Wednesday night, like every night, the state was on the prowl. And right in front of the bright loud colors, right in front of the opening sounds ... the NYPD was doing the state, forcing the power of one black man into a space to small for dignity. And my people, though practicing the celebration, though air traffic hailing the future, this night, my people do not forget the moment. This is why my people wear sneakers and flat shoes. They remember what we agreed. So early Thursday morning they stopped the dancing to witness this arrest, one of millions of arrests, (these too my people). And they said with their eyes what we promised we would say. They said. We see you. We remember what you deserve. And when the lie come out that you are not human, that who you are does not matter, we will stand up that moment with the truth. We see you.
And, for seeing, for responding to what they saw, they were met with violence and arrest. Thursday night, the SRLP reported that the two folks who had been arrested were released without charges. "Our work around this incident is not finished," the organization insists. "Now it is time to hold the police accountable for the unnecessary force and community targeting that occurred last night, and work so that no more incidents like this happen again." Find out what you can do at www.srlp.org.