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Birders Watch Warily as Parks Become NYC’s Living Room

Birdwatchers in Central Park. (Photo: Ralph Hockens via WikiCommons)

Late last month, video of a confrontation between an avid birder and a dog walker in the Central Park Ramble went viral. While Twitter and the op-ed pages rightfully prioritized the degree to which white privilege, prejudice, and misplaced fear motivated the dog walker’s more than inappropriate response, the exchange also underscored long-standing tensions between birders and dog walkers in the Ramble, and sparked broader conversations about city park usage in general. That conversation has become all the more timely now that parks are playing host to massive protests against police brutality and systemic racism. More →

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Doulas Take Deep Breaths Before Heading Back into Hospitals

(Photo: JennaRich via WikiCommons)

Three weeks ago, Anna Dejesus’ water started leaking. It was two months before her due date, so she was rushed to the nearest hospital. Her medical team immediately began trying to halt her premature labor, with hopes of keeping it on pause until it was safe to give birth. Her hospital stay was expected to stretch up to a month, and with the Covid-19 crisis restricting visitors, she was told it would be a solitary one. In search of solace, support, and skills for braving the weeks to come, she decided to call her birth doula, Melissa Murphy. More →

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During a Day of Protests Without Arrests, Politicians Join in Call For Police Reform

On the second day without curfew, as thousands gathered in Houston, Texas to mourn the death of George Floyd, protesters once again took to the streets of New York City yesterday to call for an end to police brutality. A movement that was initially marked by clashes with the NYPD has in its second week become more multifaceted, with increasingly strident demands and the support of politicians citywide. As of Tuesday morning, the NYPD reported that there had been no arrests Monday night. More →

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10th Day of Protest Leads to End of Curfew and Pledge to Cut NYPD Funding

A tenth day of protests against police brutality ended without the widespread arrests seen in previous nights and culminated in the lifting of a citywide curfew and a pledge to cut NYPD funding. “Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” tweeted Mayor Bill de Blasio, ending the highly contentious curfew a day early. “We will be moving funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services,” the mayor announced this morning. More →

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As More Protesters Are Arrested, NYCLU and Others Threaten to Sue Over Curfew

A protest halted by police at Grand Army Plaza last night. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Update, June 7: Mayor de Blasio announced Sunday morning that New York City’s curfew has been lifted a day early. “Yesterday and last night we saw the very best of our city,” he tweeted. The NYCLU tweeted, “This would not have happened without immense pressure from New Yorkers protesting + the threat of a lawsuit.”

Four civil liberties organizations have threatened to sue Mayor Bill de Blasio if he extends a controversial curfew that has resulted in the arrests of hundreds of protesters. The curfew, the city’s first in 75 years, was imposed Monday in the wake of widespread looting, but critics– including a growing and increasingly vocal chorus of elected officials– argue it has led to more of the police brutality that thousands have been peacefully marching against all week. More →