Anti-Cop Activists Vandalize NYC Transit, Attack Cops, Fail To Stop Trains
New York, NY – Protesters tried to take over the New York transit system on Friday night by disrupting pedestrian traffic in train terminals, vandalizing farecard readers, and attempting to assault New York Police Department (NYPD) officers tasked with keeping the city safe during the melee.
NYPD Police Chief Terrence A. Monahan said on Saturday morning that will respond as necessary to the protests that continued into the overnight hours, the Shore News Network reported.
The protest began around 5 p.m. on Jan. 31 at Grand Central Terminal and many of the demonstrators marched to Brooklyn from there.
The organizers of the protest had been advertising it on social media and NYPD were present in great numbers at train stations across the city.
On Saturday morning, Chief Monahan released a video on Twitter in which he said the behavior of the protesters would not be tolerated.
“This morning in the city’s transit system, a group of individuals vandalized subway stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn,” the chief began. “Their planned actions did not, however, cause any disruptions to train service. What it does cause is danger to millions of New Yorkers and commuters who ride the trains and the cops who keep them safe. Our subways are already a place where people need to be careful of coming too close to the edge of the platform, trains entering and exiting the station, and normal crowds in the stairwells.”
The police chief explained what he was expecting would happen Saturday night and confirmed rumors that NYPD would be staffed up near transit hubs all over the city.
“We believe that the same individuals will again attempt to disrupt the evening commute in the subway system by causing disorder, vandalizing property, endangering commuters, and even attempting to physically assault our officers,” Chief Monahan said. “In no way will this be tolerated. While the NYPD will always protect people’s right to protest, we will not accept illegal behavior that threatens the safety of others.”
“Those who break the law will be arrested,” the chief promised, and called on the community to help identify the masked protesters who attempted to wreak havoc on Friday.
“Whether it is destroying MTA property or causing a danger to riders,” he said. “If you are riding New York City subway today and observe individuals breaking the law, alert one of the many additional cops you’ll see across the city or call 911. If you have information on anyone who did vandalize the train stations, please call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS. The men and women of the NYPD are there to keep you safe. And there’s nobody better at it.”
At least 500 protesters clogged Grand Central Terminal at the start of Friday’s evening commute and prevented riders from getting to their trains in a timely manner; however, they failed to stop the trains or shut down the subway system as threatened.
The New York Daily News reported that at least five protesters were arrested at Grand Central Terminal on Friday night.
Protesters, many of whom wore masks over their faces, marched from Grand Central west on 42nd Street and attempted to similarly swamp the station at Bryant Park.
However, about 300 NYPD officers were waiting for them when they arrived and easily stopped marchers from storming the station, the New York Daily News reported.
About 100 protesters invaded the subway stop at 6th Avenue and West 42nd Street, though, and set off a green smoke bomb inside it as they screamed and chanted “f--k the police!”
The march continued to Restoration Plaza in Brooklyn where it finally fizzled out, but not without leaving a trail of graffiti, vandalism, and terrified New York residents in its wake.
“We’re for the right to free transit,” 23-year-old Esther Sanchez, 23 told the New York Daily News. "The cops are in the subway to criminalize poverty. They target black and brown bodies.”
NYPD has not released any information on how man protesters were arrested on Friday and overnight.
The disruptive demonstration is not the first of its kinda in New York City in recent months.
Backers ginned up their enthusiasm and advocated protests again after 500 new subway cops were sworn in to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) on Jan. 23 despite activists’ demands for a free transit system without law enforcement officers, the New York City Patch reported.
A police-hating, pro-Palestinian, Black Lives Matter-associated group tweeting under the handle “DecolonizeThisPlace” posted a video to Twitter on Tuesday calling for protesters to “f--k s--t up on J31” (Jan. 31).
“The streets are ours. The trains our ours. The walls are ours. This moment is ours. How will you and your crew build and f--k shit up for #FTP3 on #J31 (THIS FRIDAY)? Issa mothaf--kin' movement,” @decolonize_this tweeted on Jan. 28.
The video featured three masked protesters, one of whom delivered a message to those whom he hoped would join their violent demonstration.
“To all our friends, families, students, wage workers, teachers, musicians, transit workers,” the video began. “F--k the Police 3 is coming J31 right here in New York City. We encourage you to link up with your friends, your family, and think of the ways you can more in affinity to build and f--k s--t up on J31 all day long.”