I regrettably ended up with the more dysfunctional of the two ‘solidarity with Ferguson’ protests last night. I didn’t think marching to Times Square was desirable in the first place. Somewhere along the way, however, we went west, and half-an-hour later ended up at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel. For those who are familiar with NYC geography, that is a considerable and complex diversion, not merely a wrong turn. I asked several people how/why we ended up there. The only person who did not respond, “I have no idea, I was just following everyone else,” was a woman who simply yelled “it’s a pride issue” repeatedly, which was about what my cynical side suspected.
Once there, wedged between a phalanx of cops and a white truck, one of the march’s leaders gave a speech, in which was claimed that all the policemen and women in front of us were murderers. Only after this did I start recording, so only filmed the part where he got the crowd to chant “murder! murder!” ever so briefly.
Now I am somebody who believes that murdering people of color is one of the main functions of the police in our white supremacist state. That being said, on a literal level, his claims that each and every policeman and women are murderers does not recognize the complexities of an immense, federated bureaucracy. And on a symbolic level, his vitriol was much less crowd-pleasing than the now-popular mirror strategy. His accusations were so unsubtle, and made for such bad theatre, that I was not at all surprised that he was shortly afterward abandoned by the entire crowd, which did the logical thing one does when leaving the Lincoln Tunnel: marched to Times Square.