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NYC subway protest

Masses of protesters hop NYC subway turnstiles to oppose police crackdowns

Following increased police presence, surveillance, and violent arrests on the New York subway

Tensions have been brewing in the New York City subway for some time, and late last night they spilled over into mass protests targeting the NYPD, their crackdown on public transport users, and their disproportionate targeting of black youth. 

Claiming to be cracking down on fare-dodgers, 500 officers from the NYPD and Metropolitan Transportation Authority were redeployed last month, to target the 50 subway stations and 50 bus routes where evasion is most common. This tactic hasn’t been effective, according to the Wall Street Journal, with evasion actually increasing from June to August.

Other elements of the increased policing range from the dystopian to the simply horrible. See: the installation of security cameras at every ticket gate, video of around ten officers tackling an unarmed man after drawing guns, and reports of police assault on teenagers (over a $2.75 ticket).

The poor maintenance of the subway itself is well-documented, with trains not running on time and many ticket machines out of order. 

Under an NYCT Subway reply to a video showing ticket machines not working at a station (reportedly the second station the original poster tried), a comment reads: “Why are you threatening us to be harassed by police over $2.75, when most of your machines across NYC do this.”

It’s probably no surprise then, that protesters gathered to oppose the new enforcement yesterday. In video from Twitter, they can be seen marching through the streets chanting: “Hands off black kids NYPD.”

Later, they took to the subway itself, hopping over the turnstiles en masse and gathering on the platform.

Reports suggest that the protests are affiliated with Black Lives Matter, while Decolonize This Place tweeted a “city-wide call” for “emergency action against the NYPD and MTA” earlier this week (October 28).