Photos from Artivist Workshop at The Brotherhood Sister Sol's May Community Conversation, "Artful Resistance Against Police Control"

Project Attica participated in a workshop during The Brotherhood Sister Sol's May Community Conversation, Artful Resistance Against Police Control, with other activists projects that are using arts to promote social justice and to demand police accountability in New York City and all throughout the United States.  

Our workshop covered the current crisis of police brutality and violence impacting millions of New Yorkers highlighting incidents such as Ramarley Graham, Akai Gurley, Eric Garner and many more.  Participants created their artivist t-shirts in the beautiful Frank White Memorial Garden learning how art can be used for resistance against police control. 

The Brotherhood Sister Sol provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth who range in age from eight to twenty-two.  The organization focuses on issues such as leadership development and educational achievement, sexual responsibility, sexism and misogyny, political education and social justice, Pan-African and Latino history, and global awareness. Bro/Sis provides four-six year rites of passage programming, thorough five-day a week after school care, school and home counseling, summer camps, job training and employment, college preparation, community organizing training, and international study programs to Africa and Latin America.

Would you like to host one of our Artivism workshops at your school or non-profit? We would love to hear from you! Contact us!

Since 2011, Project Attica has brought Artivism – a free, dynamic, visual art, interactive workshop to students in New York City. Held in middle schools, high schools and community organizations in the city, Artivism provides students with a space to create works of art by expressing their views about social justice issues on wearable canvases. 

Half of People Killed by Police Have a Disability: Report

Hands up, don't shoot . Artist:  LMNOPI . Photo:  Venusinorbit . Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC. Summer 2015. 

Hands up, don't shoot. Artist: LMNOPI. Photo: Venusinorbit. Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC. Summer 2015. 

NBC News, March 14, 2016, by Ari Melber and Marti Hause.

Almost half of the people who die at the hands of police have some kind of disability, according to a new report, as officers are often drawn into emergencies where urgent care may be more appropriate than lethal force.

The report, published by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a disability organization, proposes that while police interactions with minorities draw increasing scrutiny, disability and health considerations are still neglected in media coverage and law enforcement policy.

"Police have become the default responders to mental health calls," write the authors, historian David Perry and disability expert Lawrence Carter-Long, who analyzed incidents from 2013 to 2015. They propose that "people with psychiatric disabilities" are presumed to be "dangerous to themselves and others" in police interactions.

The report wades directly into the racial debates over policing, noting that while coverage of police brutality cases has understandably "focused on race," that lens can also obscure how disability also factors into police interactions.

Take one of the most discussed recent police brutality cases — the Chicago Police shooting of LaQuan McDonald, a black teenager killed while acting erratically and holding a knife. Prosecutors took the unusual step of charging an officer with first degree murder, noting McDonald did not pose a lethal threat to the officers who had surrounded him. When video of the shooting was released, it sparked the resignation of Chicago's police chief and a national debate over race and policing.

There was far less focus, however, on McDonald's health. According to a later investigation by the Chicago Tribune, McDonald suffered from PTSD and "complex mental health problems."

Click here to read the full article.

Undercover Officers Ask Addicts to Buy Drugs, Snaring Them but Not Dealers

The McDonald’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Bryan L. said an unkempt-looking woman, who was an undercover officer, asked him to buy drugs for her. Credit: Michelle V. Agios/The New York Times.

The McDonald’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where Bryan L. said an unkempt-looking woman, who was an undercover officer, asked him to buy drugs for her. Credit: Michelle V. Agios/The New York Times.

New York Times, April 4, 2016 || By: Joseph Goldstein.

The 55-year-old crack addict counted his change outside a Harlem liquor store. He had just over a dollar, leaving him 35 cents short of the cheapest mini-bottle.

The 21-year-old heroin addict sat in a McDonald’s on the Lower East Side, wondering when his grandmother would next wire him money. He was homeless, had 84 cents in his pocket and was living out of two canvas bags.

Each was approached by someone who asked the addict for help buying drugs. Using the stranger’s money, each addict went to see a nearby dealer, returned with drugs, handed them over and was promptly arrested on felony drug-dealing charges. The people who had asked for drugs were undercover narcotics officers with the New York Police Department.

A review of the trials in those cases and two others illuminates what appears to be a tactic for small-scale drug prosecutions: An undercover officer, supplying the cash for the deal, asks an addict to go and buy $20 or $40 worth of crack or heroin. When the addict - perhaps hoping for a chance to smoke or inject a pinch - does so, he is arrested.

It is tough for addicts to say no.

“For him to put the money in my hands, as an addict, let me tell you what happens,” he said. “I like to think I could resist it, but I’m way beyond that. My experience has shown me that 1,000 times out of 1,000 times, I will be defeated.”

At one trial in January, a defendant testified that he had shown an undercover officer track marks on his arm. At another trial, in December, the defendant testified that he had even told an undercover officer about his desire to get clean. “You know what? We got to stop getting high,” the man, Mitchell Coward, testified. “That’s what I told him.”

Click here to learn more.