The mayor’s office is calling upon local police forces to “clear all outdoor sites” effective immediately. Staten Island police representing the mayor’s office have threatened eviction action against the crucial Staten Island hub in the heavily hit Midland Beach area. Aiman Youssef, a 42-year-old Syrian-American Staten Islander whose house was destroyed in the hurricane, has been running a 24/7 community pop up hub outside his property at 489 Midland Avenue. Community members are serving hot food and offering non-perishables, medical supplies, and clothing to the thousands of residents who are still without heat, power, or safe housing. This popular hub is well-run, well-staffed, and has a constant hum of discussion, support, and advice as well as volunteer dispatch through another pop-up group.
Tag Archives | NYC
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:
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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.
Somehow quite fittingly, highly-legible details on the War on Terror and police officers’ social security numbers served as the confetti poured onto revelers attending the nation’s largest parade, Gawker reports:
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The magical specks of color that float down the city streets are normally just a mishmash of multicolored confetti, but this year, shredded confidential documents from the Nassau Police Department were also in the air.
The worst part is that the documents were shredded horizontally, so they were still highly readable. Some strips that stuck to parade attendees contained Social Security Numbers of officers and others detailed crimes like a pipe bombing in the Kings Grant area of Long Island.
Hypothetically, these pieces of paper could have very easily been collected and been put back together again using some simple “unshredding software.” It’s a very scary Thanksgiving weekend for some Nassau County cops who might get their identities stolen in the first few days of this holiday season.
If your home had no heat or electricity with winter approaching, would you consider being herded into jail? Russia Today reports:
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With nowhere else to go, New Yorkers displaced by Hurricane Sandy may have no choice but to sleep in jails. The Arthur Kill Correction Facility on Staten Island may serve as a temporary home for up to 900 displaced victims of the storm. The medium-security prison was closed last December and with some fixing up, it could once again be fully functional.
As many as 40,000 New Yorkers are in need of shelter from extreme weather and rapidly decreasing temperatures, the city estimates, as the winter months approach. About 434,140 homes are currently still without power in the region that was in Hurricane Sandy’s path – mostly in New York and New Jersey. About 100,000 homes and businesses will remain without power for the next several months, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday in a news conference.
The Mercury News on the frustrating lack of insidious plots by the city’s residents:
In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department’s secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday.
[The NYPD had] help from the CIA, which assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames. Police hoped the Demographics Unit would serve as an early warning system for terrorism.
But in a June 28 deposition as part of a longstanding federal civil rights case, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati said none of the conversations the officers overheard ever led to a case. “Related to Demographics,” Galati testified that information that has come in “has not commenced an investigation.”
In the era of smartphone video, cities may no longer be able to afford their police forces’ misconduct. The city of New York now budgets a whopping $180 million a year for payouts to victims of police brutality and wrongful arrest, New York World writes:
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Lawsuits against the city’s police soared to a record 2,004 cases entering the courts in the year that ended July 1, indicat[ing] that the flood of cases brought against the New York City police — which have seen a 63 percent rise over the last decade — has not subsided.
Meanwhile, a federal judge ruled this week that the city is liable for hundreds of arrests the NYPD made during the Republican National Convention in 2004, opening up the possibility that plaintiffs could sue for false arrest and further exacerbate the problem.
For fiscal year 2013, now underway, the NYPD has budgeted $180 million for payouts.
Ordinary billionaires are mad and they’re not going to take it anymore, Raw Story reports:
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An activist group funded by the billionaire Koch brothers is planning a rally in New York on Thursday to “stand up to Occupy Wall Street extremists”.
Americans for Prosperity will gather at the Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan to demonstrate against Occupy protesters and Barack Obama’s handling of the economy. “The Occupy Wall Street crowd is nothing but a fringe element of malcontents bent on mayhem and destruction,” said Steve Lonegan, Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey state director.
David and Charles Koch have poured money into Americans for Prosperity, which is tied to the Tea Party movement and has a focus on small government and low taxes. A spokesman for Americans for Prosperity would not predict how many people might attend the rally at the Rockefeller, but the group’s website claims to be “more than two million activists strong” across the country.
Walking in Manhattan today, I’ve noticed several instances of what at first glance would appear to be a strange, provocative new billboard ad campaign from the New York City Police Department:
Impose Magazine‘s Gretchen Robinette has a very thorough photo treatment of yesterday’s May Day activities in lower and mid-Manhattan. Parks and major thoroughfares such as Broadway north of Union Square were filled with protesters and celebrators who were busy marching and listening to lectures, teach-ins, and musical performances, culminating in a 5:30pm march to Wall Street. In the process, familiar spaces around the city were completely transformed, at least for a little while.