NYC: September 2004 Archives

I can't find much about this other than this page from firstop. Doesn't anyone bother to update web pages anymore?

Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd , 2004
12 to 8 PM

The third annual open-studios and exhibitions event reveals whatÂ’s happening in design in this thriving Brooklyn neighborhood. Featuring the latest in fashion, architecture, graphics, interior, furniture and industrial design, the event reflects the current state of Williamsburg: its lifestyle, industrial past and new creative talent.

Maps listing participants and locations will be available during the days of the event at the Bedford Ave L stop or come back to our website for full listing, detailed event information and directions.

We saw a card for this when we walked by some graffiti artists working on big murals at a space just off Bedford on Grand Street, with a sign that said Bauplatz.

Two young suits, probably Wall Streeters, walking down my street. One points behind him at the Hotel Chelsea.

Chelsea Hotel? Serena's, downstairs? Fuckin' sorority party!

Bloomberg says:

You can't arrest 1,800 people without having somebody in the middle who shouldn't have been arrested. That's what the courts are there to find out afterward.

Apparently they're there to sort out the journalists too if necessary.

Editor and Publisher has an article today titled Reporters' Legal Hotline Drew Nine Calls During GOP Convention

A special legal support hotline for reporters covering the Republican National Convention, set up by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, received at least nine calls for help from journalists who were arrested or detained at the event, the RCFP said Tuesday.

Although that may be considered low, since nearly 2,000 protesters were arrested during the week, RCFP leaders contend it is significant, since a similar hotline set up for the Democratic National Convention in Boston prompted no calls.

Go read the whole article. They have a list of people detained by the police. Some of them were held for well over 24 hours.

Via Tom Tomorrow.

It's not him, it's a female protestor, for those confused by jumping right to his post.

Christopher Ryan sent me a link to his account of being arrested during Critical Mass.

While I cringed a bit at his use of "flamer", his politics seem to be in the right place generally, and I'm not quite sure what a straight ska-punk musician should call a homo these days...


We love the GLAMericans, and marched with them in one of the anti-war demos in early 2003.

Here is a nice album of photos from them on August 29.

From Smart Mobs, via Eyebeam reBlog, currently guest-edited by Tom Moody.

I like Tom's editor's comment at the end:

[Speaking of the risks of city-funded wifi... --TM]

Last night we went to The Tank to drink liberally with bloggers and others. We shook the hand of Markos of Daily Kos! We spotted Mrs. Atrios, but we didn't meet Mr. Atrios. We also met Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged.

We also met Andrea Fraser -- we are huge fans of her work, especially the video we saw at the Hammer at UCLA recently. I would have to say if someone asked me to guess where I would eventually meet her and talk with her, a blogger/RNC-related event at The Tank would not have been my first guess.

Madge the Manicurist (of the Church Ladies for Choice) dancing with Florent staff, with fabulous signs behind them

Afterward we went to the pro-choice night of Florent's RNC-related evenings. It's hard to take photos inside at night there, but here are a few.

Fuck the election. How do we impeach him?

From the NY Times:

"It is true that a handful of people have tried to destroy our city by going up and yelling at visitors here because they don't agree with their views," Mr. Bloomberg said. "Think about what that says. This is America, New York, cradle of liberty, the city for free speech if there ever was one and some people think that we shouldn't allow people to express themselves. That's exactly what the terrorists did, if you think about it, on 9/11. Now this is not the same kind of terrorism but there's no question that these anarchists are afraid to let people speak out."

The city was fined for contempt of court for violating habeas corpus. Here is a picture inside the pier for holding protestors, from Indy Media.


More from the NY Times:

A state judge in Manhattan yesterday angrily ordered the city to release more than 550 protesters who had been detained without seeing a judge - some for as long as 60 hours - after they were arrested at demonstrations against the Republican National Convention. When not all the protesters had been released by 6 p.m., he held the city in contempt and ordered a fine of $1,000 for each person still held, without setting a time frame.

The judge, John Cataldo of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, demanded during a noon hearing that the city immediately process the demonstrators. Throughout the afternoon, knots of exhausted but relieved-looking protesters with disheveled clothing and grime-covered hands and arms emerged onto Centre Street from the Criminal Courts Building.

Many raised their hands in triumph and were greeted with boisterous cheers, whistles and sometimes even flowers from hundreds of onlookers who had gathered. Others looked on nervously, waiting to hear news of relatives and friends.


Yesterday's abrupt release of the detainees and the threat of tens of thousands of dollars in fines capped a dramatic episode surrounding the convention, as more than 1,000 protesters who were swept off the streets Tuesday night were sent in handcuffs into the city's criminal justice system.

The city said it had cleared court dockets and opened additional courtrooms to handle the expected flood of protesters, but on Wednesday only a trickle of those arrested the night before appeared in court.

Judge Cataldo held another hearing at 7 p.m. to check on the city's progress and was not satisfied. "We're coming back again until this is settled," he said. "Once again, the order is, release these people."

Defense lawyers and protesters said something was amiss in the Police Department's detention process. City officials had maintained that those arrested were not being held for longer than 24 hours - the legal limit - without seeing a judge and that they were being given access to lawyers.

The defense lawyers and protesters claimed the police were using long detentions as a tactic to keep the streets clear until the convention was over.

Yesterday, during the noon hearing in Judge Cataldo's courtroom, the city conceded that some protesters were held too long. "We couldn't get everyone processed as quickly as we liked," Mr. Cardozo said.

He said the police had been overwhelmed by the number of arrests within a four-hour period on Tuesday, when about 1,200 people were taken into custody at different locations in Manhattan for offenses that ranged from disorderly conduct to resisting arrest to various degrees of assault. "We're doing our best" to move people through the system, he said.

Judge Cataldo replied, "I'm ordering that."

At one point, clearly exasperated, the judge told Mr. Cardozo, "These people have already been the victims of a process. I can no longer accept your statement that you are trying to comply."

Judge Cataldo referred to a list produced by the court at 8 a.m. indicating that 120 people had been in police custody for more than 38 hours, and that 440 others had been in jail for a day and a half without having had an arraignment - the hearing at which charges are brought and bail is set. The State Court of Appeals ruled in 1991 that anyone arrested in New York who is not arraigned within 24 hours is eligible for immediate release.

The city and police officials said they could not pinpoint the cause of the delays. "I'm presuming it's volume," said Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. "What I'm assuming is that the volume caused some delay. I'm not prepared to say where in the process the delays were."

He denied that the long holding time was a deliberate tactic to keep protesters behind bars until the convention ends.


During the hearing, Norman Siegel, a veteran civil rights lawyer, told the court that one client, a 17-year-old Trinity School student, had been in jail for 42 hours. "There is no reason, I submit, that this process had to take this long," Mr. Siegel said. The charge against the student was not known.

Mr. Siegel, along with lawyers from the Legal Aid Society and the National Lawyers Guild, filed writs of habeas corpus and began arguing in court on Wednesday that some protesters must be released. They said the vast majority of protesters were being held not for felonies but for misdemeanors like disorderly conduct that should have been processed in a few hours.

Mr. Siegel complained to Judge Cataldo that the protesters were being treated worse than criminals. "The only people being disadvantaged here are the protesters," he said. "We're arraigning robbers who have only been in 10 hours."

One lawyer, Elizabeth Fink, contended in court that some protesters in custody were wrongfully arrested in the first place. Accounts from people who said they were going about their business on the streets when they got caught in mass arrests seemed to back up her claim.


The center [the pier pictured above] has been a focus of steady complaints; many detainees said they were covered in oily grime from the floors. Without conceding conditions were poor, city officials said yesterday that the holding area was carpeted on Wednesday.

Ms. Ingber said the officers told them the process would not take long. In her account, as they sat outside the detention center in the bus, several of the men complained that their handcuffs were too tight; one was yelling that he could not feel his hands, which another man said looked blue. Two officers came aboard. "What do you want me to do?" said one, "I'm not a doctor." The other one said, "You were the ones who had to riot. This is what you get."

Todd Gibson, of From the Floor fame, sent me some of his photos from the August 29 anti-GOP march. Here is a nice one, showing Scooter Goons (undercover cops). They are now using paramedic vehicles for NYPD business, including transporting support people.

I put up a gallery, including a sub-gallery for the great signs he spotted.

The New York Press isn't exactly a left-wing paper, but here is what they have to say about the barbed wire holding pens on the pier on the Hudson:

By the time we hit the streets with this issue, we're sure it will be common knowledge, but it wasn't until late last week that the NYPD announced their plans to turn Pier 57, at 11th Ave. and 15th St., into a giant holding pen. It was originally intended, of course, for the thousands of protestors they're intent on rounding up during the convention.


The message sent by all the security preparations prior to the convention was clear, but never so perfectly encapsulated as this makes it. What the NYPD and the GOP are saying to protestors of every stripe (and New Yorkers in general) is this: "If you don't agree with us, we look at you as enemy combatants, security threats and would-be terrorists. And we're going to treat you like the diseased cattle you are."


The most disturbing bit of information concerning the West Side holding pen, however, was buried in the Post's account. Just a brief mention:

"Cops fear some protesters might hang around after the convention to disrupt other events, like the U.S. Open, so the pen will remain open indefinitely."

The U.S. Open? Other events? Like what, the 3rd Ave. Street Fair? The grand opening celebration at a new Payless Shoe Source in Queens?

In other words, a year-round internment camp is now part of the ongoing West Side development project. Does the Olympic Committee know about this?


UPDATED: NYC Indymedia has photos of the internment pier. More to follow.

Tom Tomorrow provides us with a link to a non-mac friendly video from local ABC affiliate of a young GOPer kicking an AIDS activist during ACT UP's action inside MSG.


AIDS activists protest in New York's Grand Central Station Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004, on the final day of the Republican National Convention. About 100 well-organized protesters gathered on a pre-arranged signal for a short, noisy demonstration during the morning rush hour, calling on the president to do more in the fight against AIDS. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

Wietold Riedel is well aware of the history of the part of the world where he was born. Read tonight's post.

Scooter Goons.

Also, can someone explain why I still have helicopters flying low over my apartment building at 23rd and 8th at 12:10am?

The NY Daily News, not exactly a left-wing paper -- they talk about Bush's hard-knuckled approach after 9/11 rather than mention his hiding out all day -- has this today:

Demonstrators also complained about the use of plainclothes cops on scooters during a Monday protest on Eighth Ave. Video shot by legal observers shows several scooters driving directly into the crowd and running into people.

A detective on one of the scooters was pulled off and badly beaten.

Last night, cops on bicycles plowed into demonstrators at W. 28th St. and Broadway, and at Herald Square, hitting people as they went. A News reporter was jabbed in the ribs with a handlebar at Herald Square. The officers then used the bikes as barricades.

Mayor Bloomberg defended the aggressive tactics yesterday.

"This isn't something like it's supposed to be a fair fight. We have laws," he fumed. "You break the law [and] you're going to find yourself arrested. Period. End of story."

I can't find a better description of this, so I'm stretching fair use a bit to give you the whole blog post from Salon. You can click on a day pass to see it on their site.

Fernando Suarez del Solar wasn't very political before his son, a 20-year-old marine named Jesus, was killed in Iraq last year. Since then, though, the 48-year-old has left his job to spend all his time agitating against the war, and last night, he took his message to Madison Square Garden.

A friend lent him a media pass, and at around 9 p.m., as Arnold Schwarzenegger began speaking, he unfurled a three-foot-wide sign with his son's picture and the words "Bush lied, my son died."

A group of delegates immediately called security, which ushered him into Madison Square Garden's lobby. There, he says, he gave a few interviews while some passing Republicans jeered, saying, "Get out of here. You're unpatriotic." More security showed up, including members of the FBI and the Secret Service. "I say to them, 'I pay with my son's life for my freedom of speech, but you can arrest me, it's OK.' The police said, 'no sir.'"

"The surprise for me," says del Solar, "is some people, Republican people, say to me, 'I'm sorry for your loss, you are right.' About seven, eight persons say, 'I am Republican, but you are correct, this war is not necessary.'"

Here is another article about the same protest. When people filed out after watching Schwartzenegger's speech, he was still in the lobby with his sign.

As delegates, fresh from Schwartzenegger's pro-Bush speech, marched into the comparatively fresh air, they were greeted by Fernando Suarez del Solar, who silently held a pink sign showing a young man's face and the reading, "Bush Lied, My Son Died," Suarez's son Jesus was killed in battle on March 27, 2003, at the age of 20. His was one of the first fighting deaths of the war. Fernando Suarez, who traveled from San Diego to protest the war in Iraq, encountered few problems while making his statement. "Most people don't say nothing. Some people say, 'I'm sorry.' Only one person has said 'Get Out of Here.' People give me respect." Suarez and his pink-clad protest partner Nancy Mancias eventually attracted the attention of security, who circled the two and began questioning them on the specifics of their press credentials. At that moment, a member of a Spanish language television network claimed the two as part of their network and escorted them upstairs to be interviewed. After the interview, security escorted Suarez and Mancias out of Madison Square Garden.

I bet the security people are embarrassed...

AP story with video.

Watch ACT UP's site for further updates. It should appear at the bottom soon.

Speaking of the First Amendment, Newsday says the police are losing it. A woman was arrested for holding a sign up at a Hummer dealer.

Did the NYPD finally lose its cool yesterday?

Protesters thought so when police made 200 arrests at Ground Zero and at least three more at the New York Public Library, their actions both times seemingly contradicting verbal directions to the protesters just moments before.

And, in perhaps the day's most unusual occurrence, a lone protester -- a woman carrying a sign -- was arrested at the Hummer showroom on 11th Avenue for "parading without a permit," an officer at the scene said.


Several miles north, as 200 demonstrators gathered on the steps of the main library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, police warned those carrying a black and pink banner that they would be taken into custody if they hung it outside the library.

The two protesters carrying the banner obeyed the order, witnesses said, but police arrested them, sparking a series of scuffles.

"It was unbelievable," said Cyndy Bruce, 26, of Chicago. "The officer said you can't hang it but you can hold it. As soon as they held it up, the officers swarmed in. They incited this violence. Not us.

"This was supposed to be peaceful. What they are doing is not acceptable," she said.

Police had no immediate explanation for the arrests at the library, though a police source said officers can detain demonstrators if they are interfering with others' right of way.

Newsday is great. Meanwhile the New York Times has a more mixed record, dating back to the anti-war demos of 2003. I love the phrase "pre-empt disorder" being allowed without comment.

Many of those protesting yesterday had purposefully avoided seeking permits for their rallies but had publicized their plans well in advance, leading hordes of police officers in cars, bikes, scooters and vans to flood various parts of the city primed to pre-empt disorder before it could occur.


"Today a number of anti-R.N.C. activities failed to materialize, including a takeover of the lobby of the Warwick Hotel, perhaps because of the police presence there," Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly told reporters at an early evening news conference.

Protesters and civil liberties lawyers expressed concerns over what they said had been unfair and overzealous tactics in dealing with demonstrators who may not have had permits but were not violent.

"It's an example of the police suckering the protesters," said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, referring to the arrest of some 200 protesters who said they thought they were abiding by an agreement they had negotiated with the police as they marched from ground zero on Fulton Street.

"It was a bait-and-switch tactic," she added, "where they approved a demonstration and the protesters kept up their end of the bargain. They undermined people's confidence in the police, and that's a serious problem as we go forward."


Responding to word that anarchists planned to somehow disrupt the morning's trading, hundreds of police officers flooded the blocks surrounding the New York Stock Exchange before 8 a.m.

Roughly an hour later, dozens of officers responded to an obscure corner near the exchange at South William Street and Mill Lane, where protesters had stretched a ball of yarn across the street.

Within minutes, 14 young people sat handcuffed and seated with their backs to a wall near the short pedestrian mall, surrounded by three or four times as many police officers. Several balls of red and yellow yarn were strewn about the street, and a boom box sat nearby with a sign on a bedsheet reading "Celebrate the Power of Money." One of the protesters wore a pinstriped suit and a beret.


Later in the afternoon, a clash erupted on the steps of the New York Public Library after two women tried to hang a protest banner over one of the lions atop the library steps. After the police pinned the women to the ground, a crowd of protesters struggled with police, answering requests to move with chants of "Oink, oink, oink."

People coming off the subways were thrown to the ground and the steps of the library were left littered with chairs and debris.

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