About Erin O’Brien

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Laws Protecting Women From Violence Are Under Threat, and Not Just in Turkey

“Arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey” by G20 Argentina is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the last few days of July, black-and-white photos began filling up Instagram feeds around the world. Generally, they were solo, selfie shots of women, with hashtags like #womensupportingwomen and #challengeaccepted. Many celebrities jumped on the trend, including Cindy Crawford, Kerry Washington, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Aniston, using everything from old glamour shots to close-up selfies in order to, ostensibly, demonstrate their general solidarity with women. In a pandemic rife with internet challenges and online activism, it seemed, at first glance, another trend meant to bind us together with a vaguery, when everyone was looking for some form of connection. More →

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On the Corner With the Anti-Violence Crews Trying to Stem the Rise in Shootings

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

As the sweltering July heat baked the streets of Bed-Stuy Monday morning, mourners dressed in black and white filed out of Pleasant Grove Baptist behind the three-foot-long, cartoon-covered casket of one-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn on July 12. The procession, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, spilled onto Fulton Street with a visible weariness; the weariness of a community wracked by death, facing another loss so horrific it is difficult to even comprehend. More →

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Rev. Sharpton at Funeral of One-Year-Old Shooting Victim: ‘This Is a Disgrace’

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

Davell Gardner Jr., the one-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a cookout on July 12, was laid to rest in Brooklyn yesterday, at a service presided over by Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop Albert L. Jamison. In a somber ceremony, attended by members of the community and prominent New York politicians and public figures, speakers remembered the short life of Gardner, while calling for an end to gun violence in the community. More →

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City Gets a Budget, But Occupy City Hall Isn’t Budging

In the early morning hours yesterday after the New York City Council approved the City’s 2021 budget, NYPD officers advanced on Occupy City Hall protesters that had filled Centre and Chambers streets in downtown Manhattan, pushing them into City Hall Park. Though efforts by the police remained largely non-confrontational, many of the structures and stations set up by organizers were destroyed or damaged in the process. More →

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Another Weekend of Protests Shows Black Lives Matter Movement Broadening

Service workers protested Thursday. (Photos: Erin O’Brien)

A third weekend of protests against police brutality in New York City saw some of the largest crowds to date,  with calls for action only intensifying in the wake of  the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday, and the killing of two black trans women, Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania. More →

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‘Make It a Little Kinky’: City Updates Its Viral Sex Advice

As New York was hunkering down for the Covid-19 pandemic on March 21, the city Department of Health released a statement advising New Yorkers on how to have sex while saying safe and healthy. The guide, which advised residents to abstain from rimming and to engage in virtual sex, circulated widely on social media. Now, as we’ve entered phase 1 of reopening and New Yorkers are looking to restart their romantic and sexual lives, the Department of Health has updated those guidelines. More →

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270 Arrested During Night of Protests Described By Mayor as ‘Overwhelmingly Peaceful’

As George Floyd was buried in Minneapolis, at a memorial service presided over by the Reverend Al Sharpton, protesters in New York took to the streets for a 10th day of protests in defiance of a citywide 8pm curfew last night. The day of protests began with a memorial service for Floyd at Cadman Plaza– the site of Wednesday night’s police crackdown– and ended in another show of police force that led to 270 arrests, the NYPD said. More →

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Protesters Clash With Police, Defy Curfew to Take Over Bridges and Streets

Eight days after the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, protesters once again took to the streets of New York last night to call for an end to police brutality. In defiance of New York’s citywide curfew, which went into effect at 8pm, largely peaceful protesters marched through the streets until the early hours of Tuesday morning, and were met with markedly increased levels of police crackdowns. More →

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‘Horrible Perfect Storm’: Another Night of Protest and Unrest in NYC

As New York City recovered from a second night of widespread looting and destruction in the midst of protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd, Mayor de Blasio announced this morning that an 8pm curfew would remain in effect through Sunday. The move comes after a night of peaceful protest mixed with general disorder during which nearly 700 were arrested. That number is likely to rise as processing continues, said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea. More →