|Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu Were Executed Last Week|
Editor-in-chief of the CUNY graduate school student paper Gordon Barnes, defended his call for violent protests in response to the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both killed while resisting police arrest. “I advocate a social revolution,” Barnes told the NY Post, “One in which people are equal, have equal access and equal means. History tells us violence would be necessary for there to be substantial and lasting social change”
As reported by The Lid on Wednesday Barnes wrote a 12/3 editorial in the graduate student newspaper of the City University of New York (CUNY), called The Advocate calling for violent protests in New York City writing, “the acts of looting, destruction of property, and violence directed towards state representatives is not only warranted, it is necessary.”
Asked by the Capital NY if he reconsidered his call for violence in the wake of the execution of two NYC police officers the previous Saturday, Mr. Barnes was defiant:
“I still stand by what I wrote, and what I said,”
Gordon Barnes, a history Ph.D. student and editor of the CUNY Graduate
Center Advocate, told Capital in a telephone interview. “I’m not going
to remove it.”
Cops, he suggested, deserve anything they get because of what he called their aggressive tactics to control the protesters who’ve clogged streets in the weeks since a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict an NYPD cop in the death of Eric Garner.
“Self-defense is justified when people are attacked if the police are the aggressors, and most of the aggression in New York has come from the police. They’ve been too aggressive, with their batons and pepper spray,” Barnes said, adding that protesters have the right to bear arms and violently resist arrest.
A New Jersey native pursuing a doctorate in history, Barnes said the ultimate goal of the protests is revolution — one that would necessarily be bloody.
“I advocate a social revolution, one in which people are equal, have equal access and equal means. History tells us violence would be necessary for there to be substantial and lasting social change,” he said.
Contacted by Capital NY Barnes added that the execution of the two cops was not the violence he was talking about. And he doesn’t believe that all police are racist but he does believe that the police force is a racist institution.
Barnes told Capital that last Saturday’s fatal shooting of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjan Liu wasn’t the violence he meant in the editorial, but doesn’t change his opinion.
“I don’t support, nor do I endorse, individuals attacking police like that, just because they’re police,” he said. “I do not support killing them wantonly, like what happened in Brooklyn.”
(…)”I don’t believe that all police are racist. I do believe that the institution of police in this country, as it originates in urban centers from slave-catchers, as a professionalized force is a racist institution that is buttressed by a racist justice system in general,” he said.
If he was ever in danger, I wonder if Mr. Barnes would accept help from what he calls a racist institution, AKA the police force?