Protest

Protestors Rally in Front of Council Member Levin’s Apartment During Budget Vote

Council Member Levin during yesterday evening’s remote hearing.

Protestors clanged and banged in front of Council Member Stephen Levin’s apartment yesterday evening as he joined a majority of members that passed the City Council’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The protest followed Levin’s announcement earlier this week that he would vote in support of a city budget that cuts the NYPD’s funding by $1 billion.

Demonstrators, however, exhorted him to cast a ‘no’ vote on a budget they say didn’t go far enough in defunding the city police.

“We don’t want them to pass the bill. It’s not what we asked for,” said Melina Juárez, a member of the protest who lives in Williamsburg. “It was just moving money around.”

Levin acknowledged that what was on the table was unsatisfactory for many of his constituents.

“This is the most difficult and heart-rending budget in recent memory,” he said during yesterday night’s hearing. “I too am disappointed that we weren’t able to go further with cuts to the NYPD.” Continue reading

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Tommy’s Tavern Protestors Condemn Alleged Racism of Owner

Kira speaking in front of Tommy’s Tavern on Thursday (Image via Ben Weiss).

More than 100 protestors gathered Thursday afternoon in front of Tommy’s Tavern (1041 Manhattan Ave.), a local dive bar on Manhattan Avenue, to condemn the owner’s recent behavior towards a black woman.

Kira, a black woman who works in Greenpoint, says that she was waiting at a bus stop across the street from the bar on June 7th when the owner, Thomas Kaminski, told her she “shouldn’t be here.” 

Kaminski bragged about how he had more money than her and yelled about ‘Black Lives Matter protests’ in his neighborhood, at one point flipping her the bird, she alleges.

“It’s obvious in Greenpoint that I’m probably the only black person I’d see for a while,” said Kira, who declined to give her last name. “But I never felt unwelcome until that day.”

She previously spoke about the altercation a week ago in McCarren Park during one of the nightly vigils in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. After returning home from the park, she decided to organize a protest in front of the bar, which Council Member Stephen Levin’s office supported.

“Racism has no place in our district and we will not stand for it,” said the Council Member in a statement.

Members of the protest were also unflinching in their criticisms of Kaminksi. Continue reading

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Public Rally for Locked-Out Key Food Workers Happens on 5/19

UPDATE: The rally has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 19th, from noon- 1 p.m. at the Greenpoint Key Food.

Approximately 40 Key Food meat department workers at seven local stores, including the Greenpoint Key Food, are locked out and have been without pay since April 6th in an ongoing contract dispute.

A community action is being held in Greenpoint this weekend in solidarity with the workers, who are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local 342.

The “Mother’s Day Rally for Locked-Out Key Food Workers” is happening Sunday, May 12th, from 2 p.m – 3 p.m. at the Greenpoint Key Food (224 McGuinness Blvd.) Continue reading

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Amazon Protest Gains Steam on Cyber Monday

A protest entitled, Protect Queens #NoAmazonNYC, has received a large response with over 500 people RSVPing and thousands ‘interested’ in the action hosted by the Democratic Socialists of America, the political organization that counts North Greenpoint’s incoming representative, New York Senator Julia Salazar as a member. Community members, activists and politicians are concerned with the sizable billion-dollar-plus state subsidy that a monopolistic corporation owned by the wealthiest man in the world will receive. The protest starts at 5 p.m. tonight at Court Square Park in Long Island City.

The event description reads:

“The heartbeat of Queens is the working class and immigrants, not billionaires. At a time when our city is facing a crisis of affordability, New York is looking to pay Amazon, the richest corporation in the world, billions of dollars to gentrify Queens. This is outrageous. Rather than creating good jobs for the community this deal will displace existing residents. We do not need nor want Amazon in our barrio.

– We need affordable housing, not further gentrification
– We need protections for immigrants, not a company that profits off of work with ICE
– We need more funding for transit, not billions in corporate subsidies
– We need good jobs, not a company that exploits workers

Our communities need real investment, not displacement. It’s time for New York to #NoAmazonNYC.”

Continue reading

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Still She Persisted! Sister Francis Gerard Kress: The Fighting Environmentalist Nun

Today almost all the local people know about the massive pollution of Newtown Creek and the oil plume that sits under Greenpoint, but it was not always so. One of the first fighters for the local environment was a Catholic nun—Sister Francis Gerard Kress. Born and raised in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen in 1914, all her life Kress was a fighter and a protester. At age ten she organized a pot banging demonstration of local children in support of Al Smith’s bid for the presidency, but her biggest protests were yet to come. Continue reading

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Protests for #ericgarner #blacklivesmatter Today (12/4)

© AP

We have some big issues in NYC to think about after the failure to indict the police offer who killed Eric Garner.

Lighting the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a celebration of our city and there was nothing to celebrate yesterday.When I posted about the protests there on Facebook last night, someone commented, “What does this have to do with Greenpoint?” Eric Garner is a New Yorker. And NYC police officers patrol 11222. Enough said.

If you feel so inclined to demonstrate, our favorite local activist Emily Gallagher sent us these tips:

BE ON TIME & FOLLOW HASHTAGS

PROTESTS TODAY DEC. 4th Continue reading

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Update: NYC Transportation Activism

"meeker&frost turned into a beautiful space for remembrance RIP Christopher Meyer" Photo by @nycstreetmem

Last week we talked about speed cameras being voted out of the city budget, which could be a major road block for Vision Zero, de Blasio’s ambitious campaign to end all traffic deaths in NYC. But what’s been most fascinating about the conflict, is seeing the ways in which New Yorkers have responded.

Tomorrow (4/9) Right of Way, a “direct action street justice group,” is taking their protest to the streets, staging a demonstration that will involve stenciling the outlines of 40 bodies on Grand St (Between Columbia and Lewis in the LES), the number of lives they believe will be lost as a result of the speed camera bill. The protest will point fingers directly at lawmakers in Albany, whom they hold ultimately accountable, using #killedbyalbany as a slogan, transposed over a logo of a bloody handprint.

On the other end of the spectrum, a group of about two dozen bikers visited the sites where fellow NYC cyclists were killed, holding make shift memorial services over white ghost bikes, lovingly adorned with flowers and photos.  Continue reading

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FIGHT THE TOWERS! – Rally For Greenpoint Tonight (9/4)

Save Greenpoint, a local activist group made up of Greenpoint residents, who according to their website “expect the revitalization of our waterfront to be responsibly site-specific in scale and scope,” are hosting a Rally for Greenpoint tonight, September 4, 2013 from 6-7pm at Barge Park Playground (Commercial St & Dupont St) in order to “FIGHT THE TOWERS!”

According to their Facebook invitation, “40 story towers threaten the future of Greenpoint. The community has been shut out of the process. This is your chance to be heard.”

See you tonight, Greenpoint!

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GENERAL STRIKE: MAY DAY

© John Emerson

You have probably seen the signs around the neighborhood calling for a General Strike today, May 1, 2012. That means, no work, no school, no housework, no banking, no shopping. I like NOT doing all of those things, but what for? And what does this mean for Greenpoint?

According to the OWS.org website: “We are striking to halt the flow of capital, reclaim a tool of resistance, and unify movements against exploitation, repression, and corruption. You should join the movement and strike because: everyone else will be doing it and it’ll be fun and empowering. But more importantly, join because you’ve experienced exploitation, repression, and corruption, and you are aware of their impact around you. Join if you are forced to work and consume; if you want to have a choice for an alternative.”

“Everyone else is doing it,” is not convincing but a disempowered sentiment certainly lingers.

Janie Grenier, a 16 year resident in Greenpoint commented, “I believe people in Greenpoint and all over the city should follow their conscience on May Day. I admire and respect anyone’s choice to make a statement against income inequality and the essential injustice of the bank bailouts in the absence of meaningful help for struggling homeowners, the unemployed and the underemployed. That said, I hope the spirit of non-violence is observed by all, protesters and police alike.”

Continue reading

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