New York City
A special screening at the New York City premiere of the new documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? will benefit a local bastion of activism damaged by Hurricane Sandy—the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS), on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, 8 PM at the Quad Cinema, 34 W. 13th Street, in Greenwich Village. The $10 donation will assist the museum, which had its hopes for a grand opening that very day dashed when its displays were immersed in the rising waters of the East River during the Frankenstorm. The 93-minute, award-winning documentary is engaged in a week-long run at the Quad, Nov. 16 through 22. The teaming of Judi Bari's story with the MoRUS brings together grassroots ecological struggles from California's redwoods and Lower Manhattan's squats and community gardens.
Well, we're back online after four days of the electricity being out in Lower Manhattan, and our rage level is even higher than usual. Where to even begin? For starters, with the most obvious reality. This blogger is 50 years old and grew up in New York City. Never in my life have I experienced a storm of anywhere near this magnitude (actually prompting the mayor to announce a "mandatory evacuation" of low-lying areas) until Hurricane Irene last year—and now it just happened again, even worse (much worse) one year later with the Hurricane Sandy "Frankenstorm." Pretty ominous evidence that something is way out of wack.
You'd never know it from the sensationalist headlines, but the latest supposed near-miss, would-be, almost-was terrorist attack in New York City appears to be yet another highly specious case in which the "terrorist" plot turns out to be a creation of FBI infiltrators. All you have to do is actually read past the headlines, and this is immediately apparent. Let's take a look at the Daily News coverage from Oct. 17—with its typically alarmist lead, followed by implicit admissions that whole thing is almost certainly an FBI-generated scam...
From the New York Times, Oct. 8:
4 Die in Crash at Notorious Turn on L.I. Road
All five were teenage friends from Queens, and four had been classmates at Richmond Hill High School. Some had started college and were planning for careers years away, and they were all out for a ride early Monday in a car that one of them — a 17-year-old with a learner's permit — had recently started driving.
We recently noted the frightening rise of the neo-fascist "Golden Dawn" party in Greece, which actually now holds a parliamentary bloc despite the fact that its leaders (including sitting MPs!) are accused of violent attacks on immigrants. On Sept. 22, Digital Journal reported that these sinister creeps were making an effort to organize the Greek diaspora, launching local chapters in Melbourne, Australia, and in Astoria—the Greek neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens. They launched a New York website (now seemingly disabled) that spouted the predictable populist pabulum, e.g.: "Our goals are to promote and support the Golden Dawn's nationalist ideals and vision for Greece among the Greek diaspora. We must resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist, and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order." And they organized an event to collect food and clothing to send back to Greece, ostensibly to aid families thrown out of work in the country's current econo-cataclysm. A photo from the event is online at the website Fuck Yeah Anarchist Banners, with a caption helpfully informing us: "This is NOT an anarchist banner. This is a fascist banner, being hung by organizers from the Golden Dawn neo-fascist party. They are violent, antisocial racists. It is being hung at the Stathakion Cultural Center."
From NY1, Sept. 23:
East Side Car Accident Kills Pedestrian, Injures Another
An elderly man died after police say he was struck and killed by a car while hailing a cab on Manhattan's East Side on Saturday night.
On Sept. 17, the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, some 180 were arrested in Lower Manhattan trying to, once again, occupy Wall Street. As usual, the famous street was cordoned off behind police barricades, with only ID-carrying employees allowed through, so most of the "occupations" were actually on the surrounding blocks. Even converging before dawn was insufficient to avoid this fate. With protesters scattered in clusters throughout the area it was difficult to judge numbers, but mainstream sources (WSJ, Reuters, Al Jazeera) put it at a probably low-balled 1,000. Reporter Colin Moynihan in the New York Times has a video feed from the scene which shows some of the predictable instances of police thuggery, including a rather futile effort to bar journalists from filming the man-handling of protesters. Other such images are online at Gothamist.
In vivid contrast even to last year and especially the year before that, the 9-11 anniversary in New York City was extremely subdued. Neither the Islamophobes nor the "Truthies" nor the sectarian left seem to have exploited the commemoration. By the time this blogger arrived at Ground Zero by bicycle in the late afternoon, the only organized presence on the street was various small clusters of evangelical Christians. (The Jehovah's Witnesses were the most shameless, with a big banner showing the twisted wreckage of a destroyed city under the word "DOOMSDAY.") Mercifully, for the first time this year, there was no speechifying by politicians at the official ceremony in the morning. "Last year it was horrible," one survivor told Newsday. "We don't need them [politicians] here." Significant progress has now actually been made on the new tower, which rises in arrogant ugliness over the site. But maybe, at long last, New York and the United States are catching up with the rest of the planet in moving on from 9-11. Except, of course, that 11 years later, we remain at war in Afghanistan...