Flyers Abound for Saturday, April 30th Hospital Rally Around Village

Seen In Window of Lifethyme Natural Foods on Sixth Avenue

Seen in Vacant Greenwich Avenue Storefront

The once-unfathomable idea that a high-profile hospital in an affluent Manhattan neighborhood would be allowed to close had become reality. The hospital’s venerable history—over 160 years, it had treated victims of the Titanic,the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, the AIDS epidemic, and 9/11—had not saved it. Nor had its location as the only hospital on Manhattan’s West Side below 59th Street. St. Vincent’s failure left 3,500 employees jobless and 200,000 New Yorkers without their nearest hospital.

St. Vincent’s plight has been portrayed by public officials and the media as a story of local misfortune—a community losing a vital piece of its infrastructure and a centerpiece of its identity to a combination of mismanagement, the recession, and bad luck. The truth, though, is considerably more alarming.

— From New York Magazine “Why St. Vincent’s is the Lehman Brothers of Hospitals,” Oct. 2010.

Rally to Demand a Hospital will take place Saturday, April 30th, 2 p.m., at 7th Avenue & 12th Street, site of St. Vincent’s.

Video from Friday’s Earth Day Action at the Park

Superb video of Friday’s Earth Day Action — nicely edited, concise, fun to watch – and all set to music!
http://vimeo.com/22769441

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The previous WSP Blog post on this action, “For Earth Day, Banner Launched Via Balloons At Washington Square Arch to Protest Use of Rainforest Wood In New Park Benches” was linked to by Forbes (under “billionaires” and tagged “Michael Bloomberg”), Tree Hugger and USA Today!

Protests Against NYC’s Mass Killing of Canada Geese in Public Parks; Support Grows Across the U.S. to Let Geese Live

Protesters Flock to Bloomberg's East Side Townhouse

A Walk in the Park Blog reports on Monday evening’s (August 9th) protest in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s townhouse condemning the Mayor’s support for killing up to 2000 resident Canada Geese in NYC public parks and spaces over the last two years.

The recent incident that raised people’s ire – and awareness – was the gassing of close to 400 Canada Geese which called Brooklyn’s Prospect Park home on Thursday, July 8th in the middle of the night. This was carried out with no public notice, no discussion, no transparency.

At Monday’s action, protesters were only allowed across the street from the Mayor’s East 79th Street townhouse. He was inside at the time with guests but left at one point directly encountering activists.

While our Mayor cites “air safety,” this is a ruse. Killing these resident geese will not make air travel safer. The birds that collided with the famous Flight 1549 which safely landed in the Hudson were migratory geese. Even so, are we supposed to kill every bird in the sky? We can keep birds away from the pathways directly near the airports through habitat modification; we can also track migratory patterns and track birds via radar.

We need to remember that we need to adapt to the birds; they do not have to adapt to us. Canada Geese deserve to live on this earth. We can’t keep making them move from place to place. They lived quite well and in harmony with people and other species at Prospect and other parks. It is readily forgotten that these birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As their numbers have increased; unfortunately, so has our appreciation for them.

On Thursday, August 12th at 12 noon, there will be a protest/rally at New York City Hall in support of the geese and against killing.

Recent CNN piece on support for Canada Geese.

Photo: Geoffrey Croft / NYC Park Advocates

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Previously on WSP Blog:

* Why did New York City approve a massacre of 400 geese in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park?

* The Killing of the Prospect Park Geese: Part I

Street Artists Protest Gerson-sponsored Vending Bills Friday, November 14th at City Hall

The “Gerson-Quinn Agreement” that NY City Council Member Alan Gerson (Washington Square Park is in his district) and Speaker Christine Quinn (Quinn covers the neighboring Village district) brokered was weak and gained little for the community they both represent.

At City Hall, a few weeks ago during the term limits hearings, Alan Gerson would never state his position on the matter. Yet, it came as no surprise to anyone that the day of the crucial vote he fell in line with Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, and voted for the legislation which would extend his own term.

So now Alan Gerson is on the attack of New York City’s street artists.

Info from Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.:

400 Street Artists Will Protest at City Council Hearing on Vending

Press Conference and Protest: Friday, November 14, 9 AM City Hall (East Gate)

On Friday, November 14th, the NY City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs will hold a hearing on 8 of 21 pending laws concerning vending and street artists pushed for by City Council Member Alan Gerson.

If passed, these laws will make it virtually impossible for anyone to legally sell art on the street. More than 400 street artists will protest outside at 9 AM and then testify inside at the hearing at 10 AM.

Other City Council members to contact to register your opposition to these bills:

* Lacey Clarke, Legislative Counsel Committee on Consumer Affairs New York City Council Phone #: 212.788.7006

* Leroy Comrie, Consumer Affairs Committee Chairman
District Office Phone 718-776-3700
Legislative Office Phone 212-788-7084

Contact: Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T.: artistpres -at- gmail.com

You can get detailed info on all of the newly proposed vending laws at the ARTIST website.

Note: It was impossible to find a good photo of Alan Gerson on Flickr so I resorted to this one. No disrespect meant to Council Member Gerson.

Bloomberg heckled as he leaves City Hall – “chased” by protesters

New York City Hall

New York City Hall

Interesting the reports that as Mayor Bloomberg left City Hall yesterday after the vote, he was surrounded, even “chased,” by “protesters.” I would have been interested in witnessing that. I’m fairly certain our billionaire Mayor has not encountered this much to date. People are so convinced that he has a “high” approval rating, “protesters” have mostly left him alone. But, alas, this may all change. The Mayor may finally see that there are repercussions for his manipulative actions.

Metro reports:

After yesterday’s vote to extend term limits, Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement praising the City Council for giving “the people of New York a fuller choice” in the 2009 election.

But as he left City Hall a group of protesters chased him shouting, “Sellout!

“I had not seen that before,” said civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel, who’s part of one legal team weighing court challenges to yesterday’s vote. “That’s just the beginning.”

In the Daily News (at the top of the paper’s two pages of coverage was a banner which read: “Mike Gets His Way“), it was reported that the Mayor was scheduled to talk to the press about the outcome of the vote on City Hall steps but had to abort those plans as “detectives hustled him into his SUV when angry demonstrators yelled, ‘Bloomberg hates New York!'”

And in last night’s online article in the New York Post, the writers also stated that the Mayor was “chased” by protesters as he went to his SUV and that his face turned “red” as he climbed into the vehicle. Today’s version is just a bit different, stating, “On his way out of City Hall last night, Bloomberg was swarmed by a throng of protesters shouting, “Democracy for sale!” and “Bloomberg hates New York!

I’d surmise he should expect more of that.

While employees in a corporation … for example … Bloomberg, L.P.? … cannot publicly criticize and deride their bosses (and keep their jobs), citizens in a democracy can still protest the disturbing and unethical actions of their elected officials. Even ones who have bought their way into office.

Rally. City Hall Steps. This Sunday 10/5. Noon. And… 2 p.m.

This just in… NY City Council Member David Weprin is holding a Rally to Protest overturning of Term Limits (you know that bill that Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are about to put into play) this Sunday, October 5th at 12 noon. City Hall Steps.

Update October 4: Lawyer Norman Siegel (who ran for Public Advocate) and “The People Have Spoken” Coalition are also holding a rally/protest at 2 p.m. about this issue with a slightly different theme. Sunday, October 5th. Same location: City Hall Steps. 2 p.m.

Attend one or both.

Take Flight: Balloon Protest @ Washington Sq Park Thurs March 13th



In the Inbox, we got news of an action NYU students are putting together for THIS Thursday, March 13th, inviting EVERYONE across the city to come by and express your thoughts & concerns about the City’s “renovation” of Washington Square Park.

This is an all day event —
Thursday, March 13th * 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Come out and show your support for the Park and this creative action. See what is actually going on at this beloved Park, shut down behind gates and amidst bulldozers.

From the organizers:

“Do you have an opinion about the destruction and redesign of Washington Square Park? think it’s a tragedy? an outrage? a great idea? Come express that opinion in a quick but effective way.

This Thursday, March 13th, Washington Square Park is going to be filled with more than a thousand multi-colored helium balloons, each bearing the opinion of a Village resident, visitor or student about the destruction and redesign of the park.

Participants are given a balloon, asked to write their thoughts about the changes to WSP on the balloon, then carry it into the park, tie it to something and leave it.

At 8pm, a group of organizers and volunteers will sweep through the park popping all the balloons and removing them, leaving nothing behind.

Come by on Thursday and speak your mind, make a statement, show the Parks Department that this space is our space and that we have something to say. The powers that be have been playing deaf to the voice of the public. We aim to see if they’ll play blind as well.

We’re calling the event: ‘The Washington Square Park Blow Job.’ ”

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Clever, eh?

Two locations to pick up a balloon:

North-east side of the Park: 11 University Place between East 8th Street & Waverly (trains: N,R to 8th Street/NYU)

South-west side of the Park: Southwest corner/Washington Square So. near MacDougal (trains: A,B,C,D,E,F to W. 4th Street)

Have some time to volunteer?

Contact: andrewbutler at nyu.edu

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**environmental note: no sea turtles or wildlife will be harmed by this action. Tie your balloon tightly to the post — don’t let it go!