Several hundred marchers left the square along with two large wooden ladders concealed beneath banners. They circled the block and converged at the lot’s northwest corner, where they hoisted one of the ladders up to a tall chain-link fence.
For weeks, Occupy Wall Street has been talking about occupying a vacant lot next to Duarte Square in SoHo. On Saturday, it walked the talk. At about 3:30 p.m, several hundred marchers left the square along with two large wooden ladders concealed beneath banners. They circled the block and converged at the lot's northwest corner, where they hoisted one of the ladders up to a tall chain-link fence. The first person over was retired Bishop George Packard, who writes at Occupied Bishop.
After Packard tumbled over the fence, he climbed onto a wooden bench and waved for the crowd to follow. Other priests mounted the ladder while the the crowd yanked up the base of the fence to make a large opening. Someone cut the lock on a gate, and dozens of people streamed inside, talking, dancing to rap music from a boom box, and urging the rest of the crowd to join them. But the party couldn't last. The police, taken off guard at first, came pouring through the gate with flex cuffs and arrested everyone who didn't flee, including Packard. The New York Daily News reported that about 30 occupiers were loaded into police vans.
That morning, things had gotten off to an ominous start when police detained and arrested Zach, one of the organizers, while he was walking across a nearby public park. Witnesses said that Zach has just delivered some t-shirts to the park and wasn't doing anything illegal, or even protesting. Police told a Democracy Now reporter that Zach was arrested on a warrant, suggesting that they're targeting key organizers for their role in planning new occupations.
Occupy Wall Street had a variety of motivations for occupying the lot, which is owned by Trinity Church but not currently being used for anything. Many occupiers desperately want to establish another physical occupation, believing that it will give them a better platform for outreach and organizing. The Trinity lot is one of the few unused parcels remotely near Wall Street, and the occupiers hoped that letters of support from prominent clergymen such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu might sway the church to their side. They've also leaned on the church by highlighting its ties to Wall Street interests.
Organizers chose December 17th to move on the lot because it marks the one-year anniversary of the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi--the Tunisian fruit vendor who is credited with sparking the Arab Spring--and the three-month anniversary of OWS. Organizers told me that it's likely to be their last major occupation attempt until the spring, and the whole thing felt nostalgic even before it was over. "I left my heart in Zuccotti Park," one sign said. After marching through the streets to Times Square--and getting kettled along the way--some organizers gathered at a popular OWS meeting spot in TriBeCa to watch video clips from the movement's early days.
"It was really incredibly optimistic of us to think that we were going to take that space and hold it," tactical team member George Machado told me afterwards. But for a moment it seemed possible: "We got the clergy in first, and we had that space, and I thought for a second that we might be able to do it."
Link to original article from Nation of Change
Bill de Blasio overwhelmingly was elected mayor here Tuesday, becoming the first Democrat to lead New York in 20 years and ushering in a new era of activist liberal governance in the nation’s largest city.
Shortly after polls closed at 9 p.m., several networks projected that de Blasio soundly defeated Republican Joe Lhota, a protégé of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.
De Blasio campaigned on a mantle of progressive change following Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office, highlighting what he saw as “a tale of two cities.” The moneyed Manhattan elite have...
Phillip Rucker | The Washington Post 05 Nov 2013 Hits:423 New York
A US federal appeals court has blocked a previous ruling against New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy. In addition, the judge who made the ruling was removed from the case, the AP reported.
The appeals court alleges Judge Scheindlin “improperly urged plaintiffs’ counsel to file suit as ‘related’ to a 1999 case previously assigned to her and because of certain media interviews,” S.D.N.Y. Blog reported Thursday.
Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in August the New York Police Department’s policing method was unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Scheindlin found the NYPD’s 4.4 million stops...
RT 31 Oct 2013 Hits:284 New York
In writing about last night’s raucous NYC mayoral debate between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota, Michael Powell of the New York Times nailed de Blasio as a Nation sort of guy, but suggested that he might not be so forever.
“The man likely to be the next mayor, Mr. de Blasio now sometimes seems less suggestive of a Nation magazine star than a savvy, even cool-eyed pol. (It’s worth noting that he barred reporters from his fund-raiser and declined to make public a list of the guests),” writes Powell. He’s...
Leslie Savan | The Nation 24 Oct 2013 Hits:307 New York
Prepared to remember next November, nearly 40 protesters demonstrated Tuesday outside Rep. Chris Gibson’s, R-19, Kinderhook office for him to “stop the madness” and act before tomorrow when the federal government may no longer be able to pay its bills.
Protesters later marched on Gibson’s office to shred a $174,000 check made out to him by American taxpayers “for doing nothing,” Susan Weber, a MoveOn.org regional organizer, added.
“This is Chris Gibson’s congressional salary that he’s not earning because he’s voted to shut our government down,” she said.
Protest leaders from MoveOn.org assembled...
Joe Gentile Columbia-Greene Media 16 Oct 2013 Hits:405 New York
Leroy Downes, a plaintiff in the stop-and-frisk trial, spoke at a news conference after a federal judge ruled that the practice violated the rights of minorities. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.
In a blistering decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A....
Joseph Goldstein | The New York Times 12 Aug 2013 Hits:419 New York
Our friends in New York at PNHP NY Metro, IATSE Local 1, Single Payer New York, and Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign were organizing a model of collaboration that will advance the cause of Health Care for All in every district. In Albany that day they forged agreements for the majority of the Assembly to sign as co-sponsors toNEW YORK HEALTH!
New York Health is legislation introduced byAssemblyman Gottfried and Senator Perkins (A. 5389-A / S. 2078-A), that if passed, would establish a universal, single payer health program...
Healthcare for All Issue Team 25 Jun 2013 Hits:480 New York
Early Tuesday morning, the New York Times broke the news of the arrest of a state senator and a city councilman in a major federal corruption probe. They are accused of attempted to rig the city’s upcoming mayoral election. Four other New York political figures from both sides of the aisle were arrested as part of the alleged scheme.
Intrigued? Confused? Us too. Here’s everything you need to know about the case.
What happened? The probe involves both the New York City mayoral race and a development project in Spring Valley, New...
Rachel Weiner | The Washington Post 03 Apr 2013 Hits:612 New York
Tony Bennett and Al Sharpton joined a rally in Harlem to demand nationwide gun control legislation.
Each time Milagros Ortega saw a city council member pass by her on Thursday at a rally against gun violence, she stopped them and held up the picture she was wearing around her neck.
“This is my son Francisco. He was shot and killed two months ago at the Queensbridge Houses. Please make other politicians pass gun control around the country,” she told politician after politician at a Harlem gathering to encourage other states to pass...
Alyssa Figueroa | AlterNet 24 Mar 2013 Hits:407 New York
The New York State Assembly has approved, by a 95 to 40 vote, a two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York. While it's unlikely to be passed in the Senate, the action reflects state lawmaker's growing worries about potential health impacts from the natural gas drilling process.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has led the way in recent days to ban hydrofracking for at least another two years in New York. The Speaker says right now, there are too many unanswered questions....
Karen DeWitt | North Country Public Radio 08 Mar 2013 Hits:566 New York
The Town Board of Woodstock, New York at its meeting on January 15 reviewed and adopted a resolution in support of a NY State law to criminalize hydraulic fracturing and related activities. The Town will submit its resolution supporting NY Public Law #1 to the New York State Legislature for implementation. Some 40 citizens in attendance resoundingly supported the decision.
This resolution (attached) is in support of NY Public Law #1, which makes hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and all related activities crimes under the state penal code. NY Public...
Linda Leeds | Sovereign People's Action Network 17 Jan 2013 Hits:2797 New York
Two hundred workers from dozens of fast food outlets in New York City—including McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Domino's, and Taco Bell—walked off their jobs Thursday morning to demand $15 an hour in pay and the right to form their own independent union, according to the organizers of Fast Food Forward.
It is the largest strike ever in the United States against the $200-billion-a-year fast food industry and represents the latest in a wave of collective actions by low-wage workers to change conditions in their...
David Moberg | In These Million 30 Nov 2012 Hits:703 New York
On Wednesday night, as a fierce northeaster bore down on the weather-beaten Rockaways, the relief groups with a noticeable presence on the battered Queens peninsula were these: the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Police and Sanitation Departments — and Occupy Sandy, a do-it-yourself outfit recently established by Occupy Wall Street.
This stretch of the coast remained apocalyptic, with buildings burned like Dresden and ragged figures shuffling past the trash heaps. There was still no power, and parking lots were awash with...
Alan Feur | New York Times 12 Nov 2012 Hits:890 New York
NEW YORK -- A federal appeals court in Manhattan has become the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday. The decision upholds a lower court judge who ruled that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional.
The three-judge panel says the law violates equal protection. A federal appeals court in Boston earlier this year also found it unconstitutional.
The issue is expected to be decided by the...
Huffington Post / AP 18 Oct 2012 Hits:801 New York
In Westchester County, a television advertisement accused a Democrat running for the State Senate of using campaign money to treat himself to fancy dinners. In Rochester, a commercial branded a Republican candidate as anti-women. And in Queens, a mailer attacked a Democratic incumbent for providing taxpayer money to a nonprofit organization that facilitates parrot adoptions.
The searing advertisements have one thing in common: they were financed by independent groups, not political campaigns. As both parties battle for control of the State Senate, the most forceful attack advertisements have...
Thomas Kaplan | The New York Times 17 Oct 2012 Hits:660 New York
Fired by a union-busting boss, the workers occupied their restuarant and then opened their own sidewalk cafe--forcing their owner to cede to their demands.
The restaurant workers who were fired and locked out of their store for organizing a union have won after a week of escalating protests outside the Manhattan cafe. Saturday afternoon, the owner declared that he had bowed to the workers demands to reopen the store, rehire all the workers and recognize their newly formed union, an inspiring labor victory at a time when many are...
Laura Gottesdiener | AlterNet 10 Sep 2012 Hits:862 New York
On Thursday, the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived in New York City, one of the tour's last stops in the United States. The caravan is…
As foreclosures continue to put historic pressure on the nation’s rental market, slumlords now have more opportunity than ever to prey on the most vulnerable of tenants.
Andrea Evans (l.) is the only black representative on the 11-member state Parole Board after Gov. Cuomo refused to renew the term of the panel's lone black male,…
Rep. Charles Rangel’s victory in the Democratic primary for New York's 13th Congressional District shows that – despite demographic changes in his district, ethics woes, and a censure vote…
Picture by Sarah Seltzer
Momentum has been building in the movement to end stop-and-frisk, but many were still amazed at the size of the crowd Sunday.
A Father’s Day crowd that some…
Last September 22, when Occupy Wall Street was just five days old, labor activists from the encampment at Zuccotti Park disrupted an auction at Sotheby's in support of…
The groundswell of opposition to the dirty and dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York has come from all corners of the state and from…
The town of Vestal, N.Y., near Binghamton, is well-placed for natural gas development.
Just across the border in Pennsylvania the industry is in full swing. Vestal is situated in one…
The chant is becoming familiar by now: "1, 2, 3, 4, tuition fees are class war!"
But on May 22nd, the New York City streets echoed also with "Solidarité!"
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PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:
Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.