About 45 activists were arrested as the third “FTP” protest against the police marched throughout New York City Friday night.
The protesters demand that public transportation be made free and that the NYPD itself be abolished.
The protest began in Grand Central Terminal, where police threatened to arrest anyone wearing masks. As hundreds assembled, several dozen were wearing masks. Police periodically stepped in and pulled masked protesters out, arresting them ahead of the march kicking off.
In at least one case, activists attempted to physically prevent an arrestee from being taken outside. The ensuring struggle resulted in further arrests.
The group eventually left Grand Central Terminal, chanting “How do you spell racist? NYPD!”
In the first “FTP” protest, activists had hopped subway turnstiles in the hundreds. The civil disobedience was intended to promote the group’s demand that the New York subway be made free to ride.
Friday night, police attempted to prevent activists from entering the subway, sometimes pushing them away to erect barriers.
“Back the fuck up!” yelled an officer at an activist trying to get into the subway.
Dozens made it in through an uncovered entrance, either hopping the turnstiles or going through an emergency gate.
The activists spanned as far as Brooklyn, where police deployed mace on at least one occasion.
Ahead of Friday night’s rally, activists led by the “Free CUNY” movement held a demonstration on the steps of New York City’s Department of Education.
The group called for the removal of all police from schools and subways in the city, which they say should both be fully funded and free to use.
“We intend to transform our city,” said one activist of the goal for the FTP3 event. “We can have a cop-free city. We can keep ourselves and each other safe!”
Beyond police, the group wants military recruiters out of schools.
“Recruiters target black and brown students because they know that CUNY is becoming unaffordable” they say. “NYPD cops work with Israel! Fuck these cops! Fuck these recruiters! Free Palestine! Liberation for all!”
“This is a fascist system ran by a fascist, and the cops work for the fascist system!” said an organizer, who led a chant of “Black Lives Matter!”
“Education is a right, not just for the rich and white!” chanted the crowd.