Meanwhile, the poor were rising up in the cities and the projects. An angry street protest sparked off by the police killing of a ten year old girl in the Bronx had turned into a full-scale police riot in which hundreds were injured and several of bystanders killed. Amateur videos of police beating, shooting demonstrators were instantly aired on Facebook and picked up by the Networks. Angry young Blacks rioting in their poverty-stricken ‘hoods’ drove out the cops, burning squad cars and looting precinct stations. They were joined by street-wise adults with long memories who directed the angry crowds downtown to confront the Man instead of looting their local grocers – whose shelves were in any case bare.
The uprisings were even better organized in the Latino neighborhoods, where Hispanic immigrants were already taking an active part in strikes and demos against the deportation as ‘illegals’ of their undocumented friends and close relatives. Community activists in the barrios were keeping in touch with relatives and friends in Latin America where the revolution was now boiling over, with neighborhood assemblies in the lead. Rivalries between Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dominicans, and Central American immigrants were at least buried. Youth gangs like the Crips and the Bloods signed peace treaties and turned their united strength to driving the cops and the drug bosses out of the barrios. Gang leaders gallantly put their forces at the disposal of the Neighborhood Assemblies, which were often animated by socially active community women – including their mothers and grandmothers.