EDITORIAL
Say no to NYPD raids!
volume:  
volume 35
issue 4
August 2014

In a traumatizing, military-style dawn invasion called “Operation Crewcut,” New York police on June 4 invaded Harlem’s Manhattanville and Grant housing projects. Officials deliberately delayed the raid until many of those sought turned 18, permitting their sentencing as adults — a blatant violation of due process.

The 40 young men arrested that day are among over 100 indicted in a “gang crackdown” that includes conspiracy charges based on Facebook posts and association with supposed gang members. If convicted, they could receive sentences of 15 years to life.

This raid and its racial profiling via social media are part of a national campaign of mass incarceration of youth of color. Millions of federal dollars flow into private prison industries, while inmates provide an enormous pool of free labor. The more people incarcerated, the more money made by the corporate elite.

Why were these projects hit so hard? Because they stand in the shadow of the notoriously ever-expanding Columbia University.

The 1 percent and their politicians are out to privatize and eliminate public housing across the country. Harlem is a last holdout. Outrageously, however, under public housing rules, the city can use drug-related charges to evict family members, who are doubly victimized. Their children are imprisoned and they are made homeless.

Community control of police and an elected civilian review board! Education and jobs — not prison!