The numbers from an anti-police “protest” in the New York City borough of Manhattan on Friday were pretty impressive, in a way: an estimated 150 protesters, eight arrests and about $100,000 in damage.
There were two busted-up Starbucks, according to the New York Post. Five banks also had their windows broken, as did a pharmacy.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 5, 2020
At least the demonstrators didn’t take their own advice on what one ought to do with one’s local police department: “Every city, every town, burn your precinct to the ground!”
About 300 people are near Lafayette and Canal in Manhattan, chanting “every city, every town, burn the precinct to the ground”. pic.twitter.com/4D2uA6Z23N
— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) September 4, 2020
An advertisement posted on Twitter said the rally was being organized by the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, two extremist groups whose platforms make for charming reading if you like your Maoism with a side of “Gimme Shelter” attached.
The groups were demanding the immediate dropping of all charges against demonstrators and rioters.
— NYC ABC (@nycabc) September 4, 2020
Tonight is the night!
We call on everyone who stood up during the #GeorgeFloyd uprising and all supporters to come out to say #DropTheCharges for all who have fought for our liberation!
This pivotal moment is making history!#FreeThemAll #EndWhiteSupremacy pic.twitter.com/gSnePYJGaY
— RAM NYC (@RevAbolitionNY) September 4, 2020
“Whether felony or misdemeanor, property destruction or civil disobedience, we reject the divisions externally imposed upon the movement by the State and insist that all charges be immediately dropped,” a statement for an earlier such event on the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement’s website read.
Yeah, those ridiculous externally imposed divisions of what kind of crime you’ve committed. At least I assume that’s what they’re talking about, although I’m guessing the movement’s copywriters aren’t necessarily the best and the brightest.
In any event, there are now eight more people with such charges.
Here’s some of the damage:
This crowd has been moving pretty fast, leaving some broken windows in their wake. Already passed through Washington Square Park and is now near Flatiron. pic.twitter.com/gk4kSbtS27
— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) September 4, 2020
Between the 6 p.m. start of the rally in Foley Square and when the New York Police Department began serious involvement, numerous businesses had their windows smashed. Footage from WNBC-TV in New York showed “a small group of troublemakers” who were breaking windows.
EXCLUSIVE: As protestors take to the streets of New York, a small group of troublemakers are seen smashing windows. We know of at least 8 arrests tonight. One store worker says he understands the protests, but doesn’t get the destruction of property – 11p @NBCNewYork pic.twitter.com/vr4z76ZqQn
— Adam Harding (@HardingReports) September 5, 2020
This might have been a small group in terms of the demonstration itself, but the problem with extrapolating this to the wider rally is that it didn’t just curdle into property destruction but began with it. In Foley Square, where the crowd coalesced, reports were that demonstrators were already lighting fires in trash cans, which is seldom a good sign you’re in for a “mostly peaceful” eve.
And of course you had the typical specter of outside influences. In this riot, one of the individuals arrested reportedly was from Portland, Oregon, and another from Iowa.
NYPD swoops in behind the crowd, making at least one arrest. Some kind of smoke bombs have been deployed. Sergeants overheard arguing about using the radio to coordinate. pic.twitter.com/0USaZ3dmxv
— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) September 5, 2020
In addition to the eight arrests and the six-figure tally for damage, police also discovered two stun guns, some smoke grenades and tools for burglary and graffiti. They also scrawled “Abolition” on the side of buildings, the Post reported.
The rally came one day after a car drove through a Black Lives Matter protest in Times Square. That garnered considerably more attention even though there was only one report of an injury, according to NPR.
The Friday march went by the home of City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who had called for an investigation of Thursday’s incident.
Of course, another name looms large in this whole thing, and that’s New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio, like any Democrat in charge of a major city, has tried to walk the tightrope of dealing with leftist outrage while still keeping some semblance of law and order, and has failed generally on both counts.
De Blasio’s 2021 budget for the city purportedly shifts $1 billion from the NYPD’s budget in what counts as a pretty significant defunding. (This number, City & State NY noted when the budget was announced July 1, still relies on some pretty deft accounting tricks, but the intent to defund is still there.) He had “Black Lives Matter” painted out on the street in front of Trump Tower in one particularly ham-fisted moment. He’s granted protesters rights he refuses to give any other group, including religious congregations.
This hasn’t stopped people from protesting against him — the latest group being teachers upset at returning to the classrooms. They have employed the left’s favorite tactic at the moment, protesting outside de Blasio’s home.
New York City’s crime rate is skyrocketing. The mayor has been ripped by New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among others, for not doing enough to stop rioting. The media and the left have criticized him for doing too much to stop it.
Where is he on this? Nowhere. New York City has perhaps been hit harder than anywhere by the virus. With talk about residents fleeing to the suburbs, you would think that he would be the latest Democrat forced out into the spotlight to forcefully say that yes, rioting and looting are deeply wrong and he’ll be enforcing the law.
At least for right now, though, he’s not willing to do that. Meanwhile, more businesses get their windows busted out by destructive protests he’s simply not going to call out.
Will the last one out of Manhattan please turn out the riots?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.