New York City
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...
From Gothamist, Sept. 11:
A 13-year-old cyclist is in critical condition after being struck by a van in Borough Park earlier this morning. According to police, the boy was biking east on 47th Street at around 5:42 a.m. when he collided with a Honda van traveling southbound on 12th Avenue through the intersection. The victim was rushed to Lutheran Medical center, and the driver remained at the scene. According to the NYPD spokesman, there is no criminality suspected.
From the Queens Times-Ledger, July 27:
Bronx family had just left Nigerian gathering at Richmond Hill hall before crash
Oby Okoro, the woman the NYPD identified as the driver in a gruesome accident Sunday morning in Jamaica that left five passengers dead, told police she lost control of her Mercedes-Benz because the brakes failed, according to a report.
At the southeast corner of Manhattan's Union Square is a home-spun memorial attached to a traffic-light pole, with flowers, photos of a stunningly beautiful young woman—and a handwritten plea for justice from her anguished family. Fortunately, city authorities have not removed it. Here are the details from New York's DNAInfo, June 21:
Family of Actress Killed in Hit-Run Holds Vigil on Her 22nd Birthday CHELSEA — As the investigation into the Union Square hit-and-run death of Roxana Sorina Buta continues, the aspiring actress's friends and family celebrated her life Thursday in an emotional ceremony on what would have been her 22nd birthday...
From the Village Voice, June 11:
NYPD Slammed With Lawsuit Over Handling of Pedestrian and Cyclist Deaths
On July 10, 2011, Clara Heyworth was walking to meet her husband when she was fatally struck by motorist Anthony Webb, who was driving with a learner's permit, not a license. He also might have been drunk and speeding at the time of the incident. Webb was arrested at that time.
Readers of World War 4 Report will know that we are implacable enemies of the pathological global car culture, pillar of petro-oligarchical rule, and support the ultimate abolition of the internal combustion engine. And readers will know that your chief blogger is a long-suffering New York City bicyclist. So we would really like to take heart in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's controversial measures to accommodate bicycles. But since the very start, it has all smelled suspicious to us. The "congestion pricing" plan to charge motorists to enter Manhattan struck us as a prescription for turning the island into a sort of Manhattanland tourist theme park; the closing of large sections of Times Square to cars has coincided with administration of this "public" space being turned over nearly completely to the Times Square Alliance BID; plans to bar cars from the East Village's Cooper Square are similarly concomitant with delivering the historic plaza over to Cooper Union college and New York University as a virtually privatized space. Now, the plans for a bicycle-sharing program vindicate our worst fears...
Your chief blogger is a proud native New Yorker, but World War 4 Report vigorously dissents from the celebratory triumphalism around the still incomplete World Trade Center 1 finally achieving the status of the city's highest building. As we have pointed out repeatedly, apart from marring the skyline with another Fucking Ugly Building (in the straightforward nomenclature of the New York Psychogeographical Association), apart from the entrenchment of the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy that is expropriating the working class from New York City, apart from the insult to the 9-11 victims of office space towering over their resting place—the hubristic gesture of building the new WTC higher than the original is almost explicitly a challenge to terrorists to attack the site again, necessitating a permanent police state in Lower Manhattan. And AP's April 30 report on this dystopian "achievement" is riddled with all-too-telling errors and obfuscations. To wit: