As the Poor People’s Campaign marchers reached the Trenton War Memorial this afternoon, we could see the cops already waiting for us in a parking area across the street. Last week they had to dig into the trunks of their cars to get the yellow ties for the hands of the people arrested. This week we could see the yellow ties already out and on their belts.
We went ahead with the rally on the steps of the Memorial. Rousing speeches beginning with a native American chief of the Ramapo nation, followed by Black and Latinx witnesses to the current violations of their rights in New Jersey. One of the last speakers, but definitely one of the most dynamic was a DACA recipient, Cinthia Osorio. At the start, she explained that her lack of hair was not a statement or a choice, but the result of her cancer treatment.
Fortunately I was standing next to her friend who has started a fundraising campaign for Cinthia because she only has the limited insurance offered by her college. Here’s a link to a video of her speech, taken by Brian Lee, so you hear her for yourself. [May 24, 2018. See update on good news on her condition.}
The cops were waiting for civil disobedience to begin at the War Memorial after the speeches. We changed the narrative and marched over to the Justice Complex about half mile away. State and Trenton police cars trailed us along the way. Once there, the group walked a picket circle in front of the building chanting and singing. Then, in another feint, those who had signed on for civil disobedience went around the corner to block those doors to the building. Unlike last week, the police began the arrests almost immediately.
We sang as the arrestees were led into the building. Then, we closed with a heartfelt “We shall overcome.” And we shall!