One Year of OWS – What Has and What Hasn’t Changed in Bloomberg’s NY

NYPD – on S17 (says it all?)

A really good recap of Occupy Wall Street, the unprovoked and needless arrests by Mayor Bloomberg’s NYPD, his “army,” as he (sadly) likes to say), and what OWS means on its one year anniversary which (many) people tend to forget, by Allison Kilkenny of The Nation:

It was one of the largest turnouts since the early days of Occupy, but Monday was also exceptional because of the high arrest figures. More than 180 individuals, including journalists, were arrested, and in at least some of these cases, the police were arresting individuals arbitrarily and without cause.

Protesters reported, and I witnessed first-hand, police dragging individuals off of sidewalks (previously considered the “safe space” of activists who don’t wish to participate in direct action and go to jail) into the street where they were then arrested. When press attempted to rush forth to photograph these arrests, the police formed a wall and aggressively shoved back journalists, making it difficult to document the actions.

At one point, a NYPD white shirt supervising officer told a group of journalists, “You can’t stand and take more pictures. That’s over with.”

“I just got out of jail. Was arrested despite screaming over and over that I’m a journalist,” Chris Faraone, aBoston Phoenix staff writer, tweeted.

Julia Reinhart, a photojournalist, was also arrested even through she was wearing identification that listed her as a member of the National Press Photographers Association.

Another journalist from WPIX was arrested Monday, as was journalist and illustrator Molly Crabapple and independent journalist John Knefel. Knefel’s sister, Molly, described the arrest as “violent and unprovoked.”

Later in the evening, New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams was assaulted in Zuccotti Park by the NYPD. Protester Jeff Rae photographed a NYPD officer jamming his baton into the councilman’s chest.

Reports emerged almost immediately that the anniversary was a flop, or in the words of the New York TImes‘ Aaron Ross Sorkin, the event “fizzled,” a diagnosis preordained by a media that has never been particularly friendly to a movement it failed to understand in the first place. Sorkin is a Times‘ financial columnist who only first checked out OWS “after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank,” who wanted to know how worried he and his CEO buddies should be about the movement. Sorkin dutifully hurried down to Zuccotti.

To say “Occupy is dead” is to misunderstand everything about the movement. Occupy can’t die as long as the dire conditions that inspired the creation of the movement continue to exist. In speaking with protesters, one can easily see all of their grievances are still real and present. One protester summarized the current state of Occupy nicely as he carried a sign around Zuccotti that read: “Nothing has changed.”

Students are still buried under loan debt. People are still losing their homes. People still can’t afford health care, and they still can’t survive on minimum wage jobs.

… and …

No revolutionary force is without ebb and flows — that is without question — but it’s been interesting to watch the establishment media rush to slap a bow on the “Occupy story” and force a “The End” onto the movement. There is a borderline obsession in the media with numbers, as though there’s a direct correlation between protester turnout and the “seriousness” of a protest — as though small groups of highly dedicated individuals haven’t inspired real, lasting change in the past.

Several media outlets alluded to the “good ol’ days” of Occupy, and how this new Occupy is only a shadow of its former self. As if these aren’t the same media outlets who also dismissed the old Occupy, as well. Hundreds aren’t as important as thousands, who aren’t as important as millions, and the point is Occupy was never, ever going to impress the mainstream media, and so they never aimed to.

What else hasn’t changed? The media and its reporting, its deference to Mike Bloomberg, its ignoring of how the NYPD horrifically treats peaceful protest (and gets away with it), how the other city agencies (City Council? any kind of regulating agency? Public Advocate?) look the other way, the way Mayor Bloomberg acts as if there aren’t real problems in the city while catering to his soft drink obsession. I could go on. I was one of those people who hoped initially OWS would go further but, really, how could it in this climate outlined so well by Allison Kilkenny above?

Occupy Wall Street infused an energy into the idea that the world could and will change, a belief that had been somewhat extinguished or at least was so under the radar amongst any of us who hoped for – and worked for – real change. Many people buy into the media’s characterization(s) of the whole thing and they, and their corporate bosses, who are threatened by it, know this.

This movement speaks to pretty much all of us. Carry on.

Photo: reclaimuc

Also worth reading: Salon.com by David Sirota, Media: Stop Sucking up to Bloomberg August 22, 2012

WSP Regular Banned from Park for Drug Dealing Tempts Fate and Is Arrested 81st Time

So, the issue of “drug dealers” at Washington Square is something that gets some people very upset and others just shrug. There was one theory that once the park was redesigned the NYPD would be able to better monitor all activities (not certain that’s really ever been the issue — and there are certainly enough cameras now) and it would end. Well, apparently, one “regular” has been arrested 81 times —

The NY Post first reported early March 30th:

A drug dealer logged his 81st arrest last weekend when cops busted him for marijuana in Greenwich Village, authorities said.

… [Mr.] Wayne was cuffed at 1:25 a.m. Saturday after officers spotted him with weed in Washington Square Park, cops said.

Wayne had so many prior busts there that he had actually been banned from the park, cops added.

This was followed by pieces in DNAinfo and Gothamist. DNAinfo reported:

Drug dealing in Washington Square Park is considered a small-time and nonviolent offense, [Sixth Precinct Deputy Inspector] del Pozo said. Because sentencing is small, too, dealers tend to be repeat offenders. …

Sixth Precinct police are arresting people in the park daily for selling drugs, del Pozo said. They also often find sellers trying to scam would-be pot smokers with black tea and oregano.

It’s interesting that the NYPD Sixth Precinct considers drug dealing “a small-time and nonviolent offense” and yet the Bloomberg Administration has been criticized for making NYC the “Marijuana Arrest Capital of the World” – for people caught with the substance on them.

Allegedly, in this instance, the goods were “sticking out of his pants’ back pocket.” Although is that true? The Bloomberg Admin has also been criticized for this —

Per Gothamist:

the number of low-level pot arrests during the Bloomberg administration is greater than in the 12 years of Mayor Koch, plus the four years of Mayor Dinkins, plus the first two years of Mayor Giuliani combined.

140 people are arrested every day for marijuana possession in NYC, according to stats released by the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services—despite the fact that possession of 25 grams or less of marijuana was decriminalized 30 years ago, provided it’s not burning or in public view. Critics say cops conducting stop and frisks trick “suspects” into bringing their marijuana into public view, thus justifying an arrest.

In addition, this arrest story raises other questionsWere the police just circling the park at 1:25 a.m. (park’s closing time is technically midnight) and happened upon Mr. Wayne? Was he seen from afar via the cameras in the park? Who is in the park then?

Previously at WSP Blog:

* The NYPD Will Be Watching YOU at Washington Square Park April 5, 2010

OWS Occupies Thanksgiving; Free Meals & Festive Atmosphere While Zuccotti Park Uber Restricted and Barricaded

Zuccotti Signage

Double Barricaded

Occupiers at Thanksgiving

NYPD vehicles line Liberty Street

NYPD Surveillance Tower across fm park


Food Line - It's Free!

Vegetarian, vegan, turkey options

Handing out water


Bouncers, uh, Security

NYPD Occupy Thanksgiving

WikiLeaks Truck

Ledges Now Off Limits

NYPD "Community Affairs"



Despite being double barricaded in with only two entry points on the north and south sides of the park, Occupy Wall Street occupied Thanksgiving yesterday at Zuccotti with an overflow of free Thanksgiving meals – turkey, vegetarian and vegan options – (Some of the food was later donated to a church in Upper Manhattan and perhaps elsewhere), a multitude of bottled water, ice cream and dessert.

Unlike the previous set up – pre-raid – where the food was allowed to be laid out inside the park, the food display is now only allowed outside on the sidewalk. Among other things, this ends up not being the most environmentally friendly option – endless bottles of water and pre-packaged trays of food – but the spirit remains lovely and strong.

People say “You can’t evict an idea,” and that is oh so true. And yet, what is so threatening about the alternative society that Occupy Wall Street set up that all physical remnants of it have to be abolished? Now, double barricades surround the entire park. Books, food, and, yesterday, even a banjo are not allowed in. There are bouncers, uh, security at the TWO entry points and the ledges are off limits. No sleeping lying down. In addition to the much publicized no tents and sleeping bags.

A fellow last night tried to bring in a banjo and security attempted to deny him entry. People began chanting “let the banjo in!” and surrounded the space. There was a negotiation; the NYPD got involved and, at last, guy with banjo was allowed in. Mic check was called. A speaker called out “We’d like to thank” … “the NYPD” … “for letting the banjo in.” (Words to that effect.) Amazingly gracious as that would not have been my first inclination feeling it was already crazily restricted (what right did this security have to keep the banjo out to begin with?, my friend asked).

When I first arrived, I spoke to one of the bouncers. I don’t mean that in a dismissive way but that is the feeling that was given off and clearly he identified with the role. I pointedly questioned and criticized the barricades everywhere and the reduction of entrance to the park to two barricaded-in entry points. He said, “Everyone’s complaining. Look at the festive environment you get to go to going in here.” Clearly his attitude was that Brookfield Properties (which “manages” Zuccotti Park) and the city were doing everyone some favor by allowing them there. Then, as if this was a reasonable argument, “If you went to a club, you’d have to go on a line to get in.” “This isn’t a club,” I replied. “It’s a public park.” He began to argue, “It’s not a public park. It’s a private park.” I said, “It is not a private park. It is a privately owned public space.” He stopped the back and forth; he had to agree that was accurate. He then continued on claiming this was all for everyone’s “safety.”

The site is barricaded in with an imposing NYPD tower with cameras bordering the park with NYPD officers and Brookfield-hired “security” checking people coming in and out. A public park? Certainly doesn’t feel like one. A friend of mine commented that “This feels like a prison camp.” Nonetheless, the vibe inside was festive, upbeat and giving.

“You can’t evict an idea.” Indeed.

I wanted to include this last shot although, on first glance, you can’t tell what it is.  The trees at Zuccotti have tags tied on them (similar to ones you might put on a gift) that said “I’m giving…” and people had filled in sentiments on them.

I don’t expect Mayor Michael Bloomberg and those of his ilk in the 1% to understand but I’m sure many of us do. Written on this tag were the words: “I’m giving thanks for OWS. You gave me hope.

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Interesting post here on Occupy Boston and Community Planning.

Previous WSP Blog post: My visit to Zuccotti and Occupy Wall Street October 7, 2011

Bloomberg’s Controlling Nature Blacks Out Media Coverage of OWS Middle-of-the-Night Ouster; Reassessing Use of our Parks, Public Spaces

City Park Duarte Square - Canal & 6th Yesterday

The media today and yesterday is focused on looking at Occupy Wall Street every which way. The orchestrated middle-of-the-night ousting of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park by Mayor Michael Bloomberg raises so many questions but here’s a few:

In today’s cities, should there be places people can mobilize from 24-7 if needed? Who decides? Perhaps the pure definition of public space and its usage needs to be revised. Our parks have become about rules and control vs. being actual public spaces geared to what people want. There needs to be a balance and currently it’s tipped too much one way, as we see again and again.

Then, there are large overarching questions about Bloomberg’s decision to shut down media coverage of what went down – as it happened. I understand it was not particularly convenient for him if there were images and reporters on site recording his NYPD in action. But does that mean he shuts it down? And is allowed to, with no repercussions? Yet, again he shows his controlling nature while spouting his great love of democracy.

Thankfully, Judson Church, across from the park, stepped in – in the middle of the night – and offered shelter space to those ousted from Zuccotti and again last night. I stopped by yesterday morning and it was very heartening to see the space opened and welcoming to those who needed it.

Some snapshots from the media coverage (more photos from yesterday coming) —

From Daily Kos via Reader Supported News: Media Blackout on Mayor’s Raid on Zuccotti Park” 11/15:

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to stage a middle of the night raid on the Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park, there was one thing he didn’t want … media coverage. So Bloomberg said screw the First Amendment:

New York Observer Politics Reporter Hunter Walker:

I was blocked from viewing nypd raid at #occupywallstreet along with reporters from cnbc, nbc, cbs, wsj and reuters #mediablackout

New York Times Reporter Brian Stelter:

I’m w/ a NY Post reporter who says he was roughed up by riot police as Zuccotti was cleared. He thinks violence was “completely deliberate.”

Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson:

Cops just violently shoved me away as I tried to shoot this man in a stretcher being loaded into ambulance http://twitpic.com/7efa2v

And from the gothamist:

During our coverage of the eviction of the Occupy Wall Street protesters early this morning, a NPR reporter, a New York Times reporter, and a city councilmember were arrested. Airspace in Lower Manhattan was closed to CBS and NBC news choppers by the NYPD, a New York Post reporter was allegedly put in a “choke hold” by the police, a NBC reporter’s press pass was confiscated and a large group of reporters and protesters were hit with pepper spray. According to the eviction notice, the park was merely “cleaned and restored for its intended use.” If this is the case, why were so few people permitted to view it?

Empty Zuccotti Yesterday A.M. Pigeons & Men in Yellow - Before Being Re-Occupied

New York Times, Beyond Seizing Parks, New Paths to Influence11/15:

In New York, where the police temporarily evicted Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park early Tuesday, and in other cities, dozens of organizers maintained that the movement had already reshaped the public debate. They said it no longer needed to rely solely on seizing parks, demonstrating in front of the homes of billionaires or performing other acts of street theater.

“We poured a tremendous amount of resources into defending a park that was nearly symbolic,” said Han Shan, an Occupy Wall Street activist in New York. “I think the movement has shown it transcends geography.”

Dr. [William] Galston [a senior fellow in governance at the Brookings Institution], predicted that though protesters across the country were being pushed out of their encampments, their issues would endure.

“The underlying reality to which the movement has called attention is too big, too pervasive, too important to go away,” he said.

New York Times, Zuccotti Park Largely Unoccupied and Quiet 11/16:

Many protesters, however, did not stay at the park.

At Judson Memorial Church, across the street from Washington Square Park, about 60 protesters were sprawled out on blankets in the church’s lower parish hall, said Lisel Burns, a volunteer there.

“They came in all night,” Ms. Burns said. “Some were so tired they just fell right asleep.”

The Guardian, “Occupy Wall Street: You Can’t Evict an Idea Whose Time Has Come” (Statement) 11/15:

This burgeoning movement is more than a protest, more than an occupation, and more than any tactic. The “us” in this movement is far broader than those who are able to participate in physical occupations. The movement is everyone who sends supplies, everyone who talks to their friends and families about the underlying issues, everyone who takes some form of action to get involved in this civic process.

Such a movement cannot be evicted. Some politicians may physically remove us from public spaces – our spaces – and, physically, they may succeed. But we are engaged in a battle over ideas. Our idea is that our political structures should serve us, the people – all of us, not just those who have amassed great wealth and power. We believe this idea resonates with so many of us because Congress, beholden to Wall Street, has ignored the powerful stories pouring out from the homes and hearts of our neighbors, stories of unrelenting economic suffering. Our dream for a democracy in which we matter is why so many people have come to identify with Occupy Wall Street and the 99% movement.

More photos from yesterday coming.

Greenwich Village On Halloween Night – Policing Run Amok? Washington Square Park Closed; Access to Parade Limited; Streets Dangerously Barricaded

Washington Square Park Gated and Locked Halloween 2011

Police Barricading the Arch Around 6 p.m.

Joe Mangrum Halloween Sand Painting before Park shut down

Empty Pathways Washington Sq Park

Eastern Entrance to Park Closed

NYPD shutting South entrance to Park

Lonely Arch

Updated — So… the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade occurred last night – hard to miss as it’s an institution at this point, no longer on the fringe but part of the mainstream, and now in its 39th year.

Of course, one of the best places to get the true Greenwich Village flavor before, during and after the parade would be … the famous Village park that resides a mere block away. And yet… Washington Square Park – the entire public space – was gated, cleared out, locked, and closed as of 6:30 p.m. yesterday. This is only in more recent years under the Bloomberg Administration*. Not even Mayor Rudy Giuliani closed the Park for Halloween. The Bloomberg Administration is the first to do so, as part of its ongoing encroachment on the accessibility and use of public space.

As I left shortly after the park was closed off and walked around the perimeter, a young man asked a police officer inside, “Is the park closed?” She responded, “Yes, temporarily.” He asked, “‘Til when?” She said, “I don’t know.” She paused. “Until they tell us.”

Venturing up to Sixth Avenue, I found a spot with a friend along the parade route between West 8th and Waverly on the eastern side. We decided to seek out a spot with better sight lines thinking heading north might be better.

As we ventured a few steps north, we could not get very far. 8th Street was closed off and barricaded – you could not cross it but you also could not turn east onto it except via a narrow, barricaded passageway along the sidewalk right up against Barnes & Noble. There was a packed crowd there all trying to get somewhere with little space to navigate within. The crush of the crowd – fortunately very good-natured but growing restless and angry at being caged in – was intense. Despite having created this dangerous situation where the teeming crowd was all forced into this small space via excessive barricading, there were no police to be seen at that location.

A man standing against the wall at Barnes & Noble said if we could get 1/4 of the way down the block, the barricading ended and we could walk freely. That is exactly what happened. Except, next, they started blocking off all of 8th Street. I said to a police officer, “Why are you closing the street? This is crazy.” He shrugged, “Do I look like I’m in charge here?”

We then got to Fifth Avenue where the overflow crowds from this untenable scenario had all headed. Every block between 5th and 6th Avenues was closed off and we were all directed to 14th Street. Except when we got to 14th Street, that too was closed off, and, over a bullhorn, a police officer announced, “Attention: Access to the Parade Route is Closed. You’re Late. The Parade Is Over.” (It wasn’t.) We then ventured to 17th (or 18th?) 19th Street and were finally able to head west to 6th Avenue except the parade ended a block further south so nothing was visible.

Now, this might sound like NYPD crowd control – as in a way to make things “ordered” – but it was not. It is creating a potentially pernicious situation. I kept saying, “This isn’t safe.” My friend shook his head and said to me, “This isn’t about safety. It’s about their control. The higher ups use these parades to practice their logistical command.” Then, it seems to me that it’s control at the expense of safety. We are just lucky there wasn’t an incident of some kind because their “system” of barricades and blocked off streets is not set up to accommodate it. Someone I know who was there agreed, stating: “I felt the same way. They trapped people in.”

People are cooperative and yet the city does everything to assume the worst of everyone and in the process makes the parade, while still fun and with great energy, a negative and potentially harmful experience – because of the City’s actions.

The media are given up close access, as are the politicians, so no one is reporting on this. It’s possible even the event organizers are not aware of the extent to which the NYPD is harming their parade and the experience of it. If I had stayed in my relatively cozy spot on Sixth Avenue off Waverly, I might not have realized the scope of this NYPD insanity.

There needs to be a hard look at how this parade, a Village tradition, is now being managed by the Bloomberg Administration and the NYPD.

As far as the park being closed, people ought to have access to this public space. If it’s public safety that the city is worried about, stop blocking off virtually every single street along the route with barricades and sending people on elaborate ruses and corralling them into narrow passageways. People want to have fun and be playful on Halloween – assuming the worst of them is just so wrong and so Bloomberg.

Bottom line: Washington Square Park should be open on Halloween night.

*Someone called the Bloomberg Administration “the control freak administration” in a comment at the Villager piece on no musical performances near the park’s fountain, benches. Couldn’t agree more.

Downtown Public Park Acts as Home Base for Those Taking a Stand

"Liberty Plaza" aka Zuccotti Park downtown

So, on the same day that hundreds showed up at Washington Square Park to battle each other with Light Sabers, activists who have set up camp downtown to protest and highlight the inequalities in the U.S. today, particularly in relation to the financial “system,” battled in real life with the NYPD.

Mark Crispin Miller has a piece with video from Saturday (9/24) on his web site which captures the police rough handling mainly females and young kids at 12th Street and University (he wonders “Does Michael Bloomberg wants his cops to kill somebody?” based on the harsh and over-the-top treatment).

Zuccotti Park, a privately owned public park (figure that one out!), has been taken over as home base since September 17th.

See more —

Read Arun Gupta’s piece in The Indypendent: The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation

New York Times, Videos Show Police Using Pepper Spray at Protest on the Financial System

New York Times, Park Gives Wall St. Protesters Place to Call Home

Photo: PWeiskel08 via Flickr

Two People Stabbed in Park Thursday afternoon, June 9th

A Walk in the Park Blog reports that two people were stabbed in Washington Square Park on Thursday afternoon, June 9th. An arrest took place. According to the blog, a man “allegedly removed a broken bottle from a sock and slashed two males, ages 22, and 27 in a dispute according to an NYPD source. The incident occurred at approximately 1:15 at Washington SQ. NO. & 5th Avenue.”

It’s unclear the status of the two young men who were stabbed. I attempted calling the Sixth Precinct yesterday after I was alerted to this occurrence but no one picked up.

You can watch video of the arrest which is quite lengthy (and a bit shaky in parts) on YouTube. At the end of the video, a young man comes up and starts engaging with the alleged attacker, who is handcuffed outside a police car near the Arch, which the NYPD allows. (Have you ever tried to intervene with the NYPD?) It’s hard to tell what’s being said.

Plus, video of multiple police cars at the Arch! And at Fifth Avenue! It’s all very Law & Order. It’s quite dramatic considering how mellow things usually are at Washington Square. And now that the Main Plaza is flattened and level, the NYPD can drive around the fountain.

On the Fountain Plaza: NYPD


The Park. Tuesday — People enjoying the Plaza by the Fountain. Music. Conversation. Then, large New York Police Department van appears, just sitting there, for how long I’m not sure.

I realize there are people who may (?) consider this a good thing but, a bit of overkill, no?

Previous WSP Blog post: The NYPD will be watching YOU at Washington Square Park

The NYPD will be watching YOU at Washington Square Park

New NYPD Cameras SW Washington Square Park

New Surveillance Cameras on Lamp Posts SW

I don’t know how many New York City parks these are installed in, if NYPD is leading the way at Washington Square, or if it’s just been determined by the Bloomberg Administration that this historic park is the park that needs to be pacified, its bohemian, free-wheeling past spirit buried underneath leveled off concrete plazas and aligned Tisch fountains, but New York City Police Department surveillance cameras are being installed as you read this with the construction of Phase II Redesign at Washington Square Park.

At February’s Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting, the Parks Department dropped off some blue prints of Phase II which outlined the following with regard to the NYPD cameras:

Nine NYPD security cameras and devices, four within the Park, installed on poles. 2 cameras will be installed on new poles that currently do not have security devices installed.

And here they are! These cameras (pictured) have been installed in the Southwest corner of the Park along the pathway that leads to the fountain, north of the Mounds.

People have taken issue with the heavy surveillance within our city and at Washington Square Park in the past but this seems to take it to a new “Big Brother is Watching” level. Is this coming to every park or did they target Washington Square?

Update 4:56 p.m.: The Parks Department responded and said to check in with the NYPD. Parks Department does not know how many NYPD cameras are in city parks or where or how they are monitored, according to the spokesperson. No response from NYPD spokesperson.

More photos of Washington Square Park construction coming Wednesday later this week.

Photos: Cathryn.

Daily Metro Reports Parks Department Says “No Way” to Anonymous Wealthy Donors’ Plans to “better” Washington Sq Park with their private security Force

Daily paper Metro NY checked in with the NYC Parks Department about yesterday’s report in the New York Post that wealthy but anonymous donors, in addition to New York University, acting as part of a self-appointed entity called “The Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park,” were scheduled to hire private “off duty NYPD” cops to police Washington Square Park.  

From today’s Metro:

The Parks Department would not consider such a proposal,” a Parks spokeswoman said. “The NYPD is responsible for crime prevention throughout the city, including in all parks.”

She noted that one member of the Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park — a group of block associations, Fifth Avenue co-ops and others“expressed interest” in raising money to hire off-duty officers, but said the park is already staffed by Park Enforcement Patrol officers paid for, in part, by NYU

It does raise the question why Gil Horowitz, et al. (we don’t know who the “et al.” are because they won’t reveal who they are!) were so sure their plan was going to proceed and be implemented that they allowed themselves to be quoted extensively in the Post.  I imagine they considered that story quite a feather in their cap.  So… despite the supposed nixing of the private security, will their plans to pay for “maintenance” in the park proceed?  And will they still be meeting with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe as stated in the article?  There’s probably more to this story, don’t ya think?

Photographer Stacy Walsh Rosenstock weighed in with her thoughts in response to WSP Blog’s post on the topic yesterday with yet another insightful comment:

A security force to protect “the investments made in the park?” Perhaps there’s a dastardly plan to move the fountain 23 feet to the west? Lounge on a closed lawn? Or worse, walk on one of the chain fences?

And what will these security patrols do when they do apprehend such quality of life offenders? Issue a citizen’s violation? Isn’t hiring private security forces to monitor all the plain clothes and under cover police posing as criminals in the park like the tail wagging the dog?

But just to add to the equation, wasn’t Washington Square Park one of the first locations to have NYPD surveillance cameras installed back during the Giuliani administration? Maybe the primary function of this new security patrol can polish the lenses of the surveillance cameras.