Saturday, March 24, 2018

New York City Front Line Report From March Against Gun Violence

From Heather in New York City

The march here in New York was slated to start at 11:00 am at 72nd St and Central Park West. By the time I arrived to the area shortly after 11:00 am, the entrance had been relocated to 86th street (14 blocks and one avenue away) due to crowding. Pedestrians were moving at snail pace (that's 28 blocks and one avenue from "ground zero" where speeches were supposed to be taking place) but a friend and I made quick work of passing in and out of barriers and around the designated route.

We made it as far as 81st street and Central Park West before we were stopped entirely for an hour. Every block as far as we could see north and south was filled. Since the march was set to finish at 42nd street that's a minimum of 44 blocks filled simultaneously, not including the 14 blocks and one avenue where marchers were re-routed.

Thousands besides jumped barricades to line sidewalks, side streets, and rock walls in the park overlooking the avenue.. When we reached Columbus Circle (59th street) at the Trump Hotel things grew noisy and the crowd started chanting "Shame" and giving one finger salutes. The march was routed to the left around Central Park South then right down 6th ave (avoiding Trump Tower on 5th.) Still, we passed Fox News headquarters where there was even more of an uproar. Folks were shouting "Fake News" and "Fuck Fox News!" as the network appeared to be filming.

All in all I didn't see the same commercialization as comrades did in Chicago. A few screens that weren't showing anything by the time the majority got to them. A handful of tables, mostly registering voters and a couple of CPNY/CPUSA and anti-Fascist groups. The same were passing out information, with a small number of members peppered over a dozen blocks or so. The whole event seemed surprisingly grassroots. The demographic was overwhelmingly white, of all ages. Not what I would call hip and definitely not multi-cultural. I was inspired to see such strong numbers and have to wonder what a behemoth this thing would be with a more mixed turn out.

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