Posts Tagged ‘NYPD’

Report from Zuccotti Park, and what’s next for Occupy Wall Street

November 18, 2011

 

I’m back from my annual ballet trip to New York, and back to my computer. Along with four wonderful performances by American Ballet Theater I got to visit Park 51, the Islamic Center three blocks from Ground Zero (about which more soon), and Zuccotti Park, the home of Occupy Wall Street.

Zuccotti Park was a friendly place, surprisingly orderly, contrary to expectations from television. People sweeping, others staffing the free food tent, others reading or cheerfully chatting with visitors like me. There was a library, several pet dogs (apparently OWS is dog-, not cat-friendly) and a few baskets seeking donations. I saw lots of American flags and posters, but nothing ugly or much beyond run-of-the-mill progressive political ideas.

OWS aspired to being a good neighbor (photo): zero tolerance for alcohol, drugs, or abuse of people or public property. Everybody I saw seemed to be compliant with the proclaimed good neighbor policy.

But Mayor Bloomberg decided, reasonably enough, that Occupy Wall Street was becoming a nuisance and a threat to public health, and ordered the NYPD to evict the occupants from the park in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday. Most of OWS went peacefully, if sleepily; about 200 held their ground and were arrested. The park was cleared, cleaned, and the occupiers were readmitted, this time with tents and sleeping bags prohibited.

The police action may have reinvigorated a movement that had begun to bore the media and the public. Yesterday, the two-month anniversary of the start of the protest, the demonstrators (more…)

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Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” introduces us to four 9/11 first responders to build support for the stalled Zadroga health benefits bill

December 18, 2010

Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show is very funny, but not Thursday night. He had four guests, 9/11 first responders from New York’s police and firefighters, explaining their cancers and other diseases caused by continuous breathing of toxic fumes for months as they labored heroically first to rescue survivors, then to recover remains of the 2750 who died at the World Trade Center.

Senate Republicans are filibustering the Zadroga bill, which would provide for the health coverage that most of the men have lost. These Senators, after having wrapped themselves in the flag and praised the unimaginable courage and dedication of these heroes,  are now refusing to help them alleviate the suffering that’s the direct result of their heroism. And now the Senators are raging at the possibility that some of their weeks of Christmas vacation will be interrupted by such trivia as first responders health benefits or the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Watch the seven minutes of the show here. You won’t get many laughs, but you’ll see some of America’s greatness and smallness, and you’ll change your opinions of all involved—Stewart, the responders, the Republican Senators, and the news media who have abandoned this issue to The Daily Show