Hurricane Sandy Robin Hoods Steal From NYC Luxury Sites To Aid The Poor

Last month’s hurricane further widened the massive economic inequality of New York City — Manhattan has recovered, while poorer outer-borough areas affected remain seriously damaged. Via Grist, an anonymous civic group has taken it upon themselves to correct matters, as their press release explains:

Over the past two weeks, a group of concerned New Yorkers has been expropriating thousands of dollars worth of tools and materials from luxury residential developments across Manhattan and delivering them to neighborhoods devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Confiscated materials, some of them never even used, include: shovels, wheelbarrows, hand trucks, hard bristle brooms, industrial rope, contractor trash bags, work lights, work gloves, flashlights, heat lamps, and gasoline.

Liberated from their role in building multimillion-dollar pieds-à-terre for wealthy CEOs and Hollywood celebrities, these tools are now in the collective hands of some of the hardest-hit communities in the city where they are now being allocated and shared among the people who need them most. These expropriations will continue as long as the demand for them exists.

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  • Anarchy Pony

    Go Robin Hood-esque people!

    • CommieKilla

      I can’t wait till we make glue out of you!!!

      • Andrew

        I guess you don’t believe in free speech, because that’s all Anarchy Pony has done.

        • CommieKilla

          I said i can’t wait ..as in till he comes to my house stealing like he is advocating. You can’t claim crime is protected under any amendment. Commie is just a nice word for a crook.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Who said they weren’t committing a crime? I think you are mixing your legalities with your philosophies.

          • Andrew

            Hopefully when he goes to your house to steal, he’ll bring his own gun.

          • Calypso_1

            If I remember my earlier commie history, they often prefered dynamite.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            I thought that was ‘banker’ or ‘capitalist’.

          • dumbsaint

            Better a crook than some guy ineffectually calling for murder on the internet.

        • Anarchy Pony

          God, people, don’t feed the trolls. The only way to defeat them is to starve them.

  • charlieprimero

    “Liberating” tools from builders who are trying to earn a living.

    I hope they get shot for stealing.

    • Kevin Leonard

      I’m sure they have insurance.

      • CommieKilla

        I am sure you would excuse this even if they did not. Commie is just a codeword for criminal.

        • Kevin Leonard

          I would, indeed.

        • Calypso_1

          “Commie is just a codeword for criminal.”

          …and CEO isn’t?

      • charlieprimero

        Hahaha! Yeah, because that would make stealing moral, and tradesmen *always* insure their tile cutters and boxes of nails just like you insure your Mac at the Apple Store, right? Douchebag.

        • Kevin Leonard

          You think that the owners of the Apple store don’t have insurance? Don’t be so dense.

          For the record, I think this stealing *is moral. I recognize that it is illegal, but I have always been a fan of Robin Hood character and the moral principles he stands for.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

            Would you still be a fan if robin hood stole from one group of peasants to give to another? That might be what is happening here.

          • echar

            For all you know it’s the contractors with a conscience who are taking form their own sites and giving to those in need.

          • Jin The Ninja

            might be. key word.

        • echar

          Survival > Morality

          Poor people know this, the insulated are oblivious. It’s ok, I understand… You poor little pampered creature. Now scurry off and insure your morals by buying gods favor, before they are stolen by cold hard reality.

          • Andrew

            Ah, but there is no survival nor morality other than Private Property.

          • echar

            If it is needed, and there’s no other option… all bets are off.

    • CommieKilla

      or get electrocuted looting

    • Andrew

      What if they give them back once they’re done using them?

      • Anarchy Pony

        Neighborhood tool “libraries” are an excellent means of creating solidarity.

    • Jin The Ninja

      how very feudal of you.

      • Alex

        Looting is looting no matter how you dress it up.

        • Anarchy Pony

          And people in need are people in need, no matter what convoluted reasons you use to keep them in such condition.

        • Andrew

          And sometimes looting is a good thing.

        • Jin The Ninja

          re-appropriating from trump and other constructions conglomerates seems perfectly reasonable for the offense and harm they cause architectural good taste, urban demographics and the environment.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

            Even if the project has Trump’s name on it, he isn’t losing one dime. Most large construction companies like Toll Brothers subcontract parts of their building projects to small time companies. If any of the tools or materials stolen from the site were theirs, it comes out of their pocket.

            There is a very strong possibility that some of this stuff could belong to a small business owner with two or three employees in his crew who is desperately trying to keep his head above water just like most other people.

          • Jin The Ninja

            cite me some strong evidence regarding your strong possibility.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

            I can only cite my personal experience doing this kind of work in NJ and NY City, which I’ll wager means fuck all to you.
            Don’t worry, the robin hood fantasy of champagne socialists such as yourself is secure for now.

          • Jin The Ninja

            if you have years of luxury condo development experience (biz side not construction) i am willing to take you at face value; however it doesn’t make my scenario any LESS plausible than yours- and my has some moral credibility to it, whereas yours = a paycheck is a paycheck right? any contractor worth their salt working on a BRAND NAME hundred million dollar condo, is not exactly ‘poor.’
            and i don’t drink, but i don’t mind a side of caviar with my repartee.

      • charlieprimero

        If you ever worked as a tradesman and had your tools stolen from a job site and couldn’t make rent that month or buy your kid diapers you might be less condescending.

        You are probably unaware how much even a shovel costs. I encourage to visit a hardware store and find out. Trust me, you’ll have great fun ridiculing the unfashionable clothing and low-end cell phones of the working people who shop at such places.

        • Jin The Ninja

          i don’t hold any stock in other’s appearances. i leave that for the racist, classist, oppressive forces on your end of the spectrum, so you can sell your everyman, builder dan propaganda to someone else. read the article and put up or shut up. how many
          working class people in NYC live in luxury buildings or even in manhattan for that matter? let me clarify- there is a difference between private property and personal property, and the reallocation of goods for public benefit is something i DO thoroughly condone.

        • Kevin Leonard

          The workers will still get paid. The “redistributors” were apparently careful in selecting only sites that were being constructed for the uber-wealthy. Something tells me that the average tradesman was not in charge of those projects. I think the contractors will likely find a way to cover the loss of a few hundred dollars worth of tools in a revised budget for the multi-million dollar projects – assuming that they are not covered with insurance.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

            Just because the building is for the super wealthy doesn’t mean the workers building are from a multi-million dollar construction business that can afford to drop a few thousand dollars for new equipment without batting an eye.

          • Jin The Ninja

            even if subcontracted by a large construction firm, the liability of security rests with the owners of the building site- who inevitably and necessarily are multi-million dollar development corporations, and we’re talking about construction mats, NOT particularly small builder’s tools, which ARE part of the larger contractor’s expenses.

          • http://www.facebook.com/eric.fischer.73 Eric Fischer

            “shovels, wheelbarrows, hand trucks, hard bristle brooms, industrial rope, contractor trash bags, work lights, work gloves, flashlights, heat lamps, and gasoline.”

            These are NOT NECESSARILY part of the main contractors expenses if those parts of the job have been subbed. Nor would any building materials automatically be either if they are for that part of the job. The sub more often than not figures the material costs into his bid and pays for them himself out of his down-payment. It sometimes varies from job to job, but that is the standard (at least in the eastern U.S. I can’t speak for other parts of the country)
            I’ve done this kind of work. I know what I’m talking about. IF the stuff they took all belonged to a bigwig company, I’d be cheering their actions along with you, but that may or may not be the case.

          • Jin The Ninja

            you’re right, it MAY or MAY NOT be the case. there are many ifs in this scenario. this is also a luxury project- one would assume handled by a name-brand firm. the work subcontracted out, may not even be affected by this.

        • Anarchy Pony

          If you had your home severely damaged or destroyed by a monster storm and had no tools or materials to rebuild and no official help was forthcoming, you wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

          I am one of the people who does often goes to a hardware store and am aware of how much money quality tools cost, and if people were in dire need of them, I wouldn’t decry their less than legal means of acquiring them.

        • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

          Are you saying Jin is (gasp!) a hipster?

          • Jin The Ninja

            i’ve already self-identified as such, many times, on this very site. so entirely not a charge to be offended by, or surprised by. to directly quote myself, “deeply jaded eurasian hipster” and that’s the one i specifically remember. and regardless, it’s not really my cultural ‘sub-culture’ and more some elements of dress.

  • InfvoCuernos

    I shouldn’t be surprised that there are loudmouths on the internet that would decry such “looting”, but seriously, when the government doesn’t help people, it should step aside while they help themselves. I’m pretty fed up with the rich right and their lapdogs. If you support the rich, and you aren’t rich-wtf? Do you think its only a matter of time until you win a lottery, or are you going to invent the next fanny pack? Remember that whole “trickle down theory”? Kind of doesn’t work when all the CEOs outsource the labor so they can make more money for their little luxury apartments. So they got looted- look at some pictures of the devastation in the path of that hurricane and ask yourself what you would do if that was your family? I’d loot like 10 Robin Hoods, and I’d shoot back.

    • Anarchy Pony

      I believe it was Steinbeck that said “The reason that socialism never took off in America is because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

    • Artor

      Yup. In the US, we call it “looting” when $1000 worth of stuff is misappropriated, but we call it “job creating” when millions or billions are misappropriated.

  • Kevin Leonard

    Get your panties out of a wad. They aren’t hurting any independent workers. They appear to be even more socially conscious than previously thought.

    From http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-11/27/new-york-sandy-rogue-volunteers:

    It is targeting developers that use “contractors notorious for disregarding workers’ rights and amassing workplace safety violations”; has total disdain for the financial sector and city institutions that are helping fund “pieds-à-terre for wealthy CEOs and Hollywood celebrities” through billion dollar bank loans and tax breaks; and reminds us that as people in the neighbourhoods’ it’s helping line up for FEMA-issued crackers “the gears of capitalism grind away just a few miles over, churning out square footage ever skyward in a tribute to Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City — the ultimate luxury product”.

    “While the mega developer Bruce Ratner donates $100,000 and we wait for it to be ‘administered’ by a charity run by Brooklyn’s own Chamber of Commerce, the equipment that people need to get back on their feet is right in front of us at the many sites that make up his multibillion dollar real estate portfolio. If people like him want to make donations to hurricane survivors, we figured that we would cut the red tape and deliver their assets directly to the people who need them.”

  • Raj

    Hey you go robbin. Hoods, it time for america to take back america shame on the redcross andshame on anyone who does not stand up in the words of the family. RISE!!!!!!!

  • tigerGUY

    The problem with this…you fvcking morons…is the FACT the tools belong to blue collar, hard working people. You people live in a dream world where your thought process is shorter than a little person’s dick.