Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Is Pro-Cop and Anti-Worker

One month into his tenure as mayor of New York City, Eric Adams has proved himself staunchly pro-cop and anti-worker. We need to mobilize against both him and the Democratic Party, neither of whom will provide solutions for crime or the health and social problems affecting the city.

Sybil Davis

January 31, 2022
Facebook Twitter Share
Then-Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams at the Essential Workers Parade in July, 2021
Photo: John Minchillo / AP / Shutterstock

When Eric Adams, a former transit cop and the borough president who oversaw the mass gentrification of Brooklyn, won the clown car of a Democratic Party mayoral primary, a piece of guerilla art appeared all over the subway system. The sticker referred to a story that Adams often tells about being beaten by the cops as a child, an experience that he claims led to him deciding to join the police force to clean it up. It read simply: “Eric Adams was beaten by the NYPD and now he wants to make sure that you can be too.”

This, unfortunately, does seem to be the case. 

As mayor, Eric Adams — the first New York City mayor of color since 1993 — has been staunchly pro-cop and anti-worker. In the last week alone, he’s attacked the New York bail law, a measure based on a long struggle by activists to end cash bail in certain cases and allow poor and working class people the opportunity to await trial in the safety of their own homes, within their community, instead of in overcrowded and dangerous jails across the state. Using the deaths of Detective First-Grade Jason Rivera and Police Officer Wilbert Mora, Adams is building on the political momentum of conservatives to tear down the newly won criminal justice reforms. 

He recently pushed for legislation allowing 16 and 17 year olds to be tried as adults. Adams also announced plans to bring back the controversial anti-crime units which were formally disbanded in 2020 as a concession to Black Lives Matter protesters. These so-called plainclothes police units were responsible for countless violent acts against people of color who were racially profiled and targeted by searches, and members of this unit were responsible for the brutal shooting of Amadou Diallo in 1999. 

These moves all increase the NYPD’s ability to repress and terrorize the New York working class, especially young Black and Brown people. Adams points to rising violence and the recent deaths of two NYPD officers as justification for rolling back numerous reforms that were won by activists after years of struggle. He is hoping to scare enough people with the threat of gun violence that he can implement a devastating roster of concessions to the NYPD without backlash. He is supported in this by President Joe Biden, who plans to visit New York on Wednesday to discuss gun crime. 

But none of Adams’ proposals will actually do anything to address gun violence. These are the same racist strategies that were lauded during the Reagan era as “tough on crime,” and they were later legislated with the help of President Biden himself through the 1994 crime bill. None of these proposals actually addresses the root causes of violence in society. If New York is seeing a rise in violence, it is a result of worsening social conditions, economic struggles and instability, which can and should be addressed through social support systems. If the mayor was actually serious about addressing rising crime, he’d invest in mental health care and widespread drug treatment programs; he would house all the unhoused and ensure living wages for every New Yorker. But instead, Adams wants to put 16 year olds in prison and more cops on the street. 

Rather than addressing the material problems that lead to violence, Adams is making them worse. His Department of Education just announced a five-day quarantine for K-12 students with no negative Covid-19 test needed to return to the classroom, effectively ensuring that more and more students and education workers will be exposed to the virus. He still hasn’t taken action to hold the slumlords responsible for the Bronx fire — largely because one of them is on his housing team, and he has raised $1 million with the help of real estate interests. Instead, the FDNY created a PSA asking individuals to “close the door,” featuring Eric Adams’ speech in which he seems to lay the blame on the victims and disregards the bill sponsored by Congressman Richie Torres that mandated self-closing doors for all residential buildings by mid-2021. 

As Mayor, Adams has been just as corrupt and pro-cop as many expected. But, his attacks on working people and people of color aren’t just the result of his own moral and political failing — they are part of a coordinated effort by the Democratic Party to rebuild the legitimacy of the police after the Black Lives Matter movement. The fact that Adams can get away with this reflects the significantly diminished class struggle in New York. Adams and his allies in the NYPD are able to roll back these reforms because they think they won’t face serious resistance. And, as of right now, they seem to be right — there have been no significant mobilizations against Adams.

In order to protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers, that has to change. 

Activists and organizations across the city — including the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), who have their largest chapter in New York — must mobilize to build a movement against Adams. His proposals would meaningfully increase the repressive power of the NYPD, making it easier for them to target and punish anyone who they deem a problem — especially people of color. Further, we must fight for fully-funded mental health services, a living wage, and homes for all unhoused people. Adams will say there is no money, but we know that’s a lie: the cops get $6 billion a year and we live in one of the wealthiest cities in the world. These demands will mean a fight against both Eric Adams and the Democratic Party of New York, neither of which provide solutions for crime or the health and social problems affecting the city. 

Facebook Twitter Share

Sybil Davis

Sybil is a trans activist, artist, and education worker in New York City.

United States

Activists in Detroit speaking at a press conference condemning repression of the pro-Palestine movement on May 20, 2024.

Detroit Activists Hold Press Conference to Condemn Repression of Pro-Palestine Protesters

Detroit Will Breathe organized a press conference to discuss the police violence and repression against pro-Palestine protesters. The movement must stand in solidarity and unite to combat the increase of repression.

Kyle Thibodeau

May 23, 2024
Protesters carrying Palestinian flags march on a street in front of a line of cops

Activists, Including Left Voice and Detroit Will Breathe Members, Arrested at Protest of Biden in Detroit, Free All Arrested and Drop All Charges

Detroit police brutally arrested activists who were protesting outside of Biden's speech to the NAACP.

Left Voice

May 19, 2024
Tents at the Rutgers University in NJ during the Palestine encampment in May, 2024

What the Movement for Palestine Can Learn from the Rutgers Encampment Deal

The Gaza solidarity encampment at Rutgers New Brunswick ended in a deal between the administration and a negotiations team at the camp. It’s been a highly controversial decision. The experience at Rutgers shows the need for a truly democratic, bottom-up fight for Palestine.

Jason Koslowski

May 17, 2024
Pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA in May, 2024.

“The Working Class has the Power to Stop this Genocide”: Interview with a UAW 4811 Rank and Filer

On Thursday May 15, 48,000 UAW Academic workers voted to authorize a strike, the largest academic workers union in the country to do so. Left Voice interviewed UAW 4811 member Peter Ross about what sparked this historic vote, and the labor movement’s fight for Palestine

Julia Wallace

May 16, 2024

MOST RECENT

Two large signs that read "UC Divest from Genocide" and "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" behind the two signs a "UAW on Strike sign" pokes out

Dispatch from Day 2 of the UC Santa Cruz Picket Line

Left Voice member and City University of New York worker Olivia reports on the second day of her trip to Santa Cruz for UAW 4811’s historic strike to talk to workers.

Olivia Wood

May 25, 2024

Why Won’t PSC-CUNY Stand with Palestine Now?

While other higher education unions are going on strike in defense of their workers and against the genocide in Gaza, the bureaucratic leadership of PSC-CUNY just crushed a resolution calling on the university to divest from Israel and to drop the charges against Palestinian activists arrested on April 30. 

James Dennis Hoff

May 24, 2024

Attack on Pro-Palestinian Protestors at UMich Latest Example of Democrats Defending Israel’s Genocide in Gaza

Capitalist apologists from the Democratic Party have chosen their business partners in Israel’s far-right government over Palestinian lives. In Ann Arbor, those same so-called “progressive” Democrats decided to bring felony charges against protestors earlier this week, encouraging harsh police violence against the University of Michigan encampment.

Ryan McCarty

May 24, 2024
A sign for the University of California at Santa Cruz with a line of UAW signs in front of it

Dispatch from Day One of the UC Santa Cruz Picket Line for Palestine

Left Voice member and City University of New York worker Olivia traveled to Santa Cruz for UAW 4811’s historic strike to talk to workers. This is her dispatch from the first day of the strike.

Olivia Wood

May 22, 2024