Ribbons spanning all the colors of the rainbow hung from the gray walkway and black fences enclosing the trees perched in front of the salmon-pink Rivington House, a former public school that re-opened in the 1990s to assist individuals with HIV and AIDS. Scrawled on the ribbons in black marker were phrases and stories in support of the Rivington House in English, Chinese and Spanish. Each ribbon was dedicated to a specific bed number at Rivington House in honor of the individuals that the center served over the past two decades.
This Wednesday, International Women’s Day also happens to be #adaywithoutawoman. Last month, the folks behind the Women’s March on Washington announced plans for a nationwide women’s strike. Although there’s been some criticism of the march, it’s soldiering forth in defending reproductive rights, LBGTQIA rights, the rights of people with disabilities, and immigrant rights, among many others. Organizers are calling on women to 1) take the day off from work if possible, 2) wear red, and 3) refrain from spending money unless the business is small or female-owned. Here in New York, there are a number of ways to show solidarity.
In 2013 Mayor Bill De Blasio was voted into office with pledges to reign in police violence and stop-and-frisk policing targeted at blacks and latinos. (Remember that emotional video about needing to have stop-and-frisk conversations with his son, Dante?) And since he took office, street-stops have continued on a downward trend–there were about 24,000 stops last year, a far cry from the peak of 685,000 in 2011 under Bloomberg.
More than 100 Chinatown residents and their supporters crowded onto the sidewalk in front of 83 and 85 Bowery yesterday afternoon, marching around the block and gumming up traffic. The rally was part of the Coalition to Protect Chinatown’s ongoing effort to draw attention to tenant harassment cases and push for height limits and rent stabilization in the neighborhood.
While a pro-Hillary pantsuit competition brews in Bushwick, NYU is warning its students that “thousands of people” are expected to attend a Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square park at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. A campus-wide email from the school’s Vice President for Health advises that some streets in Greenwich Village will be closed off and the area will be crowded, but if you’re an NYU student wondering whether this means you get to miss class (or your shift at Bedford + Bowery) — sorry, no.
It was freezing outside, but the 60-odd Chinatown community activists gathered in front of Gracie Mansion yesterday were fired up. In English, Spanish and Chinese, they decried Mayor de Blasio’s rezoning plan and ties to the real estate industry, flinging insults and calling for his resignation. “Coward!” “Racist!” “Shame!” they yelled. As the sun set, they even left him with a “gift.”
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been protested with street art, gallery shows, and even a piñata pummeling, but yesterday brought an unprecedented scene as an eclectic crowd of New Yorkers gathered outside the Republican candidate’s own Trump Tower, wielding signs calling to “END RACISM” and “WELCOME REFUGEES.”
Hundreds gathered in Union Square last night to show solidarity for the victims of yesterday’s terrorist attack in Paris. A crowd of a few hundred people — many of them French speakers and many holding signs proclaiming “Je Suis Charlie” — silently huddled together in the biting cold and occasionally broke into chants of “Egalité!”, “Expression!”, “New York est Paris,” and “Nous sommes Charlie! We are Charlie!” A candlelit memorial displayed the controversial covers that may have caused at least two gunmen to storm the satirical magazine’s offices yesterday, killing 12 and wounding others.
A day after protesters blocked the Manhattan and Triborough Bridges, demonstrators once again took to the streets — this time in far greater numbers — to protest a grand jury’s decision not to charge Darren Wilson.