NEW YORK CITY – Queer Punk/Hip-Hop artist and activist Stose was arrested today along with five other activists in Midtown Manhattan at the Israel Discount Bank in a peaceful act of civil disobedience. Over 300 demonstrators rallied from the sidelines as they sprayed blood on the bank windows and themselves, and fell to the ground for a “Die-In” on the busy lunchtime sidewalk on 5th Avenue. No one was harmed and the protest ended peacefully after the activists were surrounded by 20 NYPD officers and quickly handcuffed. After refusing to move, they were dragged into police vehicles and taken to the 14th Precinct in Midtown South awaiting charges.
Stose is affiliated with Direct Action Front for Palestine, a New York City-based coalition of activists from various religious, political and ethnic backgrounds. The action today focused on the financial industry, specifically targeting Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and the Israel Discount Bank of New York. Protesters marched from bank to bank, highlighting the financial ties to the Palestinian Occupation and how the banks are directly connected the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, including many woman and children.
After being released, Stose elaborated on why he risked arrest by saying “I’m a human being and I cannot stand-by quietly while our government and society funds the genocide of innocent civilians. It isn’t an issue of Israel versus Palestine; it simply a matter of humanity and doing what is right. I don’t support “terrorism”, but I do support humanity.”
Over the past couple years, Stose has become increasingly more political, and his upcoming EP “Civil Disobedience” reflects his anger towards many of the injustices of society. The first single “Class War” is currently out on iTunes at https://t.co/904q57qWeP. Last month, Stose posted a blog entry on his motivation for his work, inspired largely by his time living in Greece during the economic crisis and a trip to Egypt over that period in 2012. The blog entry can be found on his website athttp://stoseofficial.tumblr.com/post/90871178251/stose-thoughts-class-war-most-people-arent
Stose, whose real name is Christos Poulos, and the other activists (Brad Taylor, Hilary Weitze, Liz Roberts and two others who wished to remain anonymous) are represented pro-bono by the Law Office of Rankin and Taylor of New York City. All were charged with “Obstructing Governmental Administration (PL 195.05)” & “Disorderly Conduct (PL 240.20 & PL 240.06)”, second-degree misdemeanors and were released on their own recognizance at 7:43pm EST on Friday July 25, 2014. Video of the arrests and photos of the demonstration can be found on the Facebook page of The Direct Action Front for Palestine.