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32 Arrested as May Day Ralliers Clash With Trump Supporters

Some 32 people were arrested yesterday as hundreds gathered in Union Square for May Day. While most came to participate in demonstrations supporting international workers and laborers, a counter protest of loosely allied right-wing activists also congregated, to denounce what one of them said was the “Amerophobia” of May Day celebrants.

Jovi Val, leader of the recently formed Modern Patriots Facebook group, organized the “May Day Slay” protest as a response to celebrations that had been called by activist groups across the city. Val described the May Day celebrants as “a bunch of commie cuckfest clowns” in a Facebook Live video of their march from Union Square to Foley Square. The celebrations called for solidarity with immigrants and undocumented workers, who many fear are particularly vulnerable under the Trump administration. Val insisted that The Modern Patriots, affiliated with alt-right fraternity The Proud Boys, were present to promote “free speech.”

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What to Expect On May Day: Marches, Patti Smith, and the ‘Adventurous, Angry, and Arrest-able’

(Photo: Amanda Waldroupe for The Local East Village)

Grab your bandiera rossa, May Day is just around the corner and labor rights groups have called for mass actions and strikes across New York City for the international worker’s holiday. Calls to action have been especially focused on expressing solidarity with immigrant workers.

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Passover ‘Feels Different’: Immigration Activists Held a Seder Outside of ICE

Rabbi Joshua Stanton. (Photo: Carol Schaeffer)

Dozens of activists gathered for a morning Passover seder today in front of 26 Federal Plaza, New York’s Immigration Center, to stand in solidarity with immigrants facing deportation.

The interfaith seder was organized by New Sanctuary NYC, and director Ravi Ragbir. Ragbir has struggled with his own problems with documentation and threats of deportation for more than a decade. A fixture of immigration rights activism in New York, the Trinidadian was convicted of wire fraud in 2001 and was placed on a high-priority deportation list in 2006. After a five-year jail sentence, he spent an additional two years in immigration detention. He has attended frequent check-ins at 26 Federal Plaza since his struggles with deportation began. Each time he goes in he does not know if he will be detained and deported back to Trinidad, making each visit a tense and precarious experience. His next check-in was scheduled for today, but he was granted a stay until January 2018.

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Spa Castle in Hot Water, Thanks to Alleged $1.5M in Unpaid Taxes

Spa Castle’s currently shuttered midtown location. (Photo via Spa Castle / Facebook)

Even in the wake of Spa Castle’s aquatic sex problem, the death of an elderly man in one of its jacuzzis, and a child’s near drowning, it seemed that nothing could kill the Korean mega-spa. But everyone’s favorite outer-borough bargain retreat is facing charges of grand larceny. The kings and queen of Spa Castle– owners Steve Chon, his two brothers Daniel and Victor, and his daughter Stephanie– were arraigned at Queens County Supreme Court today, each on 11 felony charges.

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How Sex Sold Songs in New York’s Early Theater Days

This week, we continue with our series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

View of 444 Broadway as The Olympic Theatre, year unknown. Photo courtesy of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library.

View of 444 Broadway as The Olympic Theatre, year unknown. Photo courtesy of The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library.

James Norman knew exactly what he was doing when he walked into 444 Broadway in the spring of 1862. And the woman he shot knew, too. The music was loud, drinks were flowing, and he was a jilted man. He gave $100 dollars (a hefty sum in 1862) to buy furniture to his fiancée Kate White, a waitress at the concert saloon on the ground floor of the building. She ran away with the money, never to be heard from again. They had met one of the many times he must have come in drunk, sweaty, and groping. It’s not hard to imagine why she took the money and ran.

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