BY DASHIELL ALLEN | Dozens of protesters rallied at Barclays Center on Friday night following Kyle Rittenhouse’s full acquittal for killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer.
From there they marched down Atlantic Avenue, onto the Brooklyn Bridge, ending up in Foley Square.
“We love you! We miss you! We will get justice for you!” they chanted. “Justice for Julius Jones and F— Kyle Rittenhouse!”
The march was organized by Nattaly Randall, a performer and organizer with the 50 Mile Run For Justice Project, and Na-Lekan Masego of the For Our Liberation Collective.
“Today is about solidarity,” Randall said. “Today is about how we are living in an unjust system. I could come up here and say it’s not fair, it’s not right — we all know that.”
The demonstration began next to an almost equally large crowd of basketball fans waiting to see the Nets game.
“There are way less people here than there should be!” one demonstrator expressed.
“I’m actually supposed to be at the Nets game right now,” Randall said. “My friends are here, we had tickets to come here tonight so I could celebrate. So where am I at instead? Because when the streets call my name, I show up! When the streets call my name I show up.”
Randall expressed that, starting two summers ago, she’s done a “complete 180,” having not frequented protests before then.
Nattali Randall sang a hymn outside of Barclays Center pic.twitter.com/cAat7YJv6y
— Dashiell Allen (@dashiell_allen) November 20, 2021
“This protest, us being united under one cause, this is about liberation for all of us,” said an activist named Masego.
“Black liberation is global liberation,” they said. “Because although Kyle Rittenhouse did not kill a Black person, he killed a white…and still was able to walk free. That shows you that no matter who you are, as long as you stand behind the message that Black people should be liberated, Black people deserve equity, and Black people should be free, you are a target… . We all need to remember that.”
Masego is part of a Black queer abolitionist collective in Red Hook that believes in “empowering people through mutual aid.”
“If there’s anything you walk away with today I want it to be mutual aid,” they said. “Every day I wake up and think about mutual aid and you should be, too.”
Only a week and a half ago the For Our Liberation Collective celebrated the opening of a free store for residents of Red Hook’s New York City Housing Authority developments.
We at @4OurLiberation opened a free store in Red Hook, Brooklyn! Items in the store are free for residents of Red Hook Projects, and include necessities like canned foods, clothing, soap, menstrual hygiene products, and more ❤️🖤💚 pic.twitter.com/qIOizzIzEf
— isaac (@o_isaac_me) November 10, 2021
I suppose we can now expect more militants, armed to the teeth with assault rifles and other deadly combat weapons, to travel cross-country to aggressively defend themselves against those whose political beliefs or body language create perceived threats sufficient to warrant blowing them away. With our newly realigned Supreme Court poised to expand 2nd Amendment rights, our country is quickly reverting to the Wild West. And with just a little encouragement from our demented former president to galvanize his fanatically psychotic following, the powder keg this country is sitting on could easily ignite.