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Organizers say they're ending 'Occupy City Hall,' and planning future actions

Sep 22, 2020

Free The People Roc, one of the main organizers behind recent protests calling for justice in the wake of the death of Daniel Prude, says it is ending the daily protest near City Hall. A couple of dozen protesters were reportedly still near the building on Church Street Monday night, but the activist organization issued this statement in its Facebook page:

Credit Spectrum News

“As a result of the thousands of you who have marched, rallied, and occupied City Hall, we’re winning justice for Daniel Prude and his family. On Sunday, Attorney General Tish James announced a new policy to release body cam footage in police brutality cases directly to the public, and today Mayor Warren and RPD Chief Mark Simmons were subpoenaed as part of an investigation into Daniel’s murder.

"This was an incredibly victorious moment," said Iman Abid, an organizer with Free the People ROC. "I think it was absolutely essential that the community reminded themselves of what they were able to accomplish as a collective, and what still needs to be done.”

Our organizers have decided to end Occupy City Hall and plan new actions in the coming weeks. We recognize that taking care of our collective health and wellbeing is a revolutionary act. Systems of oppression want to see us tired and beaten down. But we won’t give them that satisfaction. We urge those of you who have been out with us every night to rest, reflect, and recharge for the next set of actions. Our movement is just beginning.”

Last Wednesday, police removed some protesters from blocking the street, but Reverend Myra Brown and others helped negotiate a compromise where the demonstrators were allowed to stay on the sidewalks.

Abid said it's time for protesters to rest up for what's to come. “It’s just a matter of really allowing people to kind of take care of themselves, recuperate, restore themselves, and then get back out into the field as needed,” she said.

Prude died last March after police responded to a mental health call, and pinned him to the pavement. He suffocated and died a week later. On Monday, lawyers for Rochester City Council issued subpoenas in connection with its independent invevstigation of how the Prude case was handled.