Protests Continue Despite Police Violence, Curfew + Progressives Unite Against Eliot Engel

A note to our readers: The Thorn has switched from Mailchimp to Substack so we can keep delivering you local New York politics news from a socialist perspective with fewer administrative costs. Starting in January 2022 our new issues can be at along with how to subscribe. This website will serve as an archive of our past issues.

Local News

  • Protests inspired by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor continued into their second week in New York City. Mayor Bill De Blasio imposed an 11pm curfew on Monday night (later moved up to 8pm), leading to indiscriminate arrests, including of essential workers who were exempt from the curfew, and violence against protesters. Two NYPD officers so far have been charged with assault, and the Manhattan DA has declined to prosecute many of those arrested. After protesters defied the curfew and a group of civil rights organizations threatened a lawsuit, the Mayor dropped the curfew one day early.
  • Current and former De Blasio staffers penned an open letter to the Mayor regarding his poor response to the recent protests. They also planned a protest at Gracie Mansion scheduled for this morning. The letter listed four demands, including reallocating $1 Billion from the 2021 NYPD operating budget.
  • The current protests have mainstreamed a longtime goal of local activists: cutting the NYPD budget.
  • City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is moving forward with a vote on a bill, originally introduced in 2014, to criminalize NYPD chokeholds. Mayor De Blasio had previously pledged to veto the bill, but Johnson believes he has enough votes to override a potential veto. Chokeholds have been “banned” by NYPD policy since 1993, 21 years before Daniel Pantaleo used one to kill Eric Garner.
  • A group of labor organizers and elected officials, including State Senator Julia Salazar, released a statement calling on the AFL-CIO to disassociate from the International Union of Police Associations.
  • City & State profiled Sochie Nnaemeka, the new head of the New York State Working Families Party. The article highlighted the ways in which WFP has worked with and against NYC-DSA in recent years.
  • New York City recorded its first day since March with no COVID-19 deaths.


  • Andom Ghebreghiorgis dropped out of the Democratic primary for the 16th Congressional District (Westchester, The Bronx) and endorsed Jamaal Bowman. The act has unified progressives behind Bowman against the incumbent, Eliot Engel, who was caught on a hot mic begging for speaking time at a press conference saying, “If I didn’t have a primary I wouldn’t care.”
  • State Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, North Brooklyn) was interviewed by The Appeal, where she called for the repeal of Section 50-a and the defunding of the NYPD.
  • The Indypendent interviewed Jabari Brisport about his run for State Senate District 25 (Central Brooklyn). Gotham Gazette analyzed the state of the race for that seat.
  • Elected officials are giving away or rejecting police union donations after a Queens DSA member posted a public spreadsheet detailing the scope of law enforcement-related campaign contributions. The PBA disendorsed incumbent Assembly Members Joe Lentol and Michael Den Dekker—who are both facing progressive challengers—after they donated their police union contributions.
  • A coalition of candidates in next year’s citywide elections have signed onto a plan to cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion.
  • The first publicly available poll of New York’s 15th Congressional District shows homophobic City Counil Member Ruben Diaz Sr. with a narrow lead over his closest competitor, with NYC-DSA endorsee Samelys Lopez far behind.
  • Representative Carolyn Maloney will debate three of her primary challengers tonight.
  • With voters starting to receive absentee ballots in the mail, Gotham Gazette released a guide on how to fill out the unnecessarily complicated ballots.

Contribute to The Thorn

We welcome submissions of in-depth articles, comics and illustrations from anyone in DSA. Whether you want to write for us or just know of stories we should be covering, please get in touch.

Subscribe to The Thorn

The Thorn is a weekly update on what's happening in local New York politics from a socialist perspective. Please sign up with us to receive an email every Monday morning.