THE BACKLASH following the murder of two New York City police officers by an emotionally troubled gunman has posed a difficult challenge to the #BlackLivesMatter protest movement.
This movement–which emerged only a few months ago, led by young people of color and taking shape in large part through social media and spontaneous participation–now confronts a vicious reaction orchestrated by police unions and conservative political networks.
The instantaneous shift in media coverage and public opinion following the two officers’ deaths shows the difficulties that any struggle against racism and police power will inevitably face. But as protests against police violence have continued–albeit in smaller numbers–in New York and across the country, it has became clear that this movement, however raw and inexperienced, is fueled by deep reserves of anger and determination that make it too powerful to be bullied off the streets.
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