Protestors in Greenpoint and Williamsburg on Sunday (Image via Ben Weiss)

Thousands of protestors marched Sunday evening from McCarren Park to South Williamsburg in a protest marked not by silence but by full-throated demands to defund the New York City Police Department.

The march’s destination was a street in Williamsburg where City Council Speaker Corey Johnson was rumored to be staying during the pandemic with his “sweetheart,” explained Sandy Nurse, former candidate for City Council in District 37 and community organizer.

“The speaker needs to put into motion plans to make cuts to the [NYPD’s] budget,“ said Nurse, who was a part of a loose, black-led coalition that organized the march, in a phone call. “We wanted to take it to him personally.”

Image via Ben Weiss

The protest, which organizers called the “Defund the Police Party,” came on the heels of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement earlier that day that he would cut the police department’s funding. He declined to specify how much of its annual $6 billion budget he would slash.

Organizers, however, demanded he and Speaker Corey Johnson specifically remove $1 billion from the police department’s yearly coffers. Among their other demands was the repeal of 50-A, a state statute that prevents the public from accessing a police officer’s disciplinary record when the officer kills a civilian, and the dropping of all charges against protestors arrested in the past two weeks.


“It’s insane to me how much money we spend on police misconduct,” said Veronica Salama, a protestor and employee at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Atlanta who is from Astoria, Queens.

The “Defund the Police Party” followed 10 days of protests across the city in which New Yorkers erupted en masse against police brutality after a cop’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Image via Ben Weiss

As opposed to prior marches in Williamsburg and the five boroughs, the march did not have to contend with a citywide curfew that had been lifted Sunday morning, and the police did not confront protestors with marked violence.

See more photos of the march:

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  1. Terrible tag line for this group. Some of the ideas are progressive but some are not and believe me some of these people would love to do exactly what the signs say ie eliminate the police dept and let anarchy rule instead of reigning in bad cops.

    Better to get together with moderates to come up with sensibly not anti police measures to reign in bad cops.

    Also if these people really want to help the black community do something about the gun violence in these neighborhood. America suffers from a cultural gun sickness, an aberration re our peer countries suffered by both black and white in this country that kills/wounds 100k+ people every yr both black and white.

    1. Check out There would be no “anarchy”. The police only protect and serve white people. In addition, Black people have less access to quality health care, education, land ownership, etc. Choose to be a part of the solution. Thanks.

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