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As Housing Courts Begin Mulling Evictions, Protesters Demand Rent Forgiveness

“They are like vultures in there. They treat people inhumanely. They need to close this indefinitely, lock it down,” said a woman pointing to Brooklyn’s housing court, clearly traumatized by past experiences. She was one of many protesters who arrived at Livingston Street at 9am on Tuesday with a clear message: “Cancel rent.” More →

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When Rent Comes Due, Residents of Privatized Public Housing May Be Most Vulnerable

Ocean Bay apartments (Photo: NYCHA)

As New York City continues to progressively reopen and attempts to salvage the second half of summer, its public housing residents face looming evictions and rent crises. The statewide moratorium on evictions, which began to lift on June 20, was recently extended, but only for certain individuals, and back rent will still be due when the moratorium ends on August 20. More →

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New York’s List of Outbreak States Grows, But Are Mandatory Quarantines Actually Effective?

New York today added Kansas, Oklahoma, and Delaware to what is now a list of 19 states where Covid-19 is spreading rapidly. Travelers from the states, where there has been a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 or an average rate of infection of at least 10 percent over a rolling seven-day period, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in New York. Failure to observe the quarantine order could result in a $2,000 fine. But it’s not clear how the order will be enforced or whether it will be effective in curbing the spread of the virus. More →

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‘Cancel July 4,’ Protesters Say During Another Weekend of Marches

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

This year’s Fourth of July celebrations brought more fireworks, picnics and Black Lives Matter protests to the city’s streets. As demonstrations against police brutality sweep the country and the coronavirus continues to claim thousands of Black and Brown lives, many people refused to take part in acts of patriotism and celebrate the United States this year. 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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New York Workers and Scholars in Limbo Abroad as Trump Suspends Visas

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at JFK. (Photo: noway on Flickr)

Soon after Yukti visited India in February to get her H-1B visa stamp, American consulates around the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the 28-year-old New Yorker hasn’t had a good night’s sleep and she has lost seven pounds. Over the past four months, she has delayed her return flight to the US four times, called the consulate in Mumbai daily until almost every phone receptionist knows her full name, and pleaded her case to no avail. Now, thanks to President Trump’s latest visa suspension order, which bans foreign workers with no H1-B visa stamps from entering the US, she is looking at another six months of unpaid leave from the Manhattan bank where she worked, while stranded in India. More →

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Juneteenth in NYC: Where to March, Mourn, Picnic and Dance

Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas. (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.)

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, technically ended slavery, the minimal number of Union soldiers stationed in Texas and the slow pace of news meant that slaves in Texas were unaware that the executive order had been issued and little could be done to implement the order. However, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, substantial numbers of Union troops finally arrived in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced to the public that all slaves had been freed.  More →

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City Council Committee Passes POST Act, Bringing Oversight to NYPD Surveillance

On Thursday morning, the New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety passed the POST Act, a bill that creates civilian review of the NYPD’s wide-ranging digital surveillance.

The POST Act, which passed 12-1, requires the NYPD to publicly report and describe which surveillance techniques it uses, guidelines and policies surrounding the use of that technology, and what will happen with the data collected from digital surveillance.  More →