housing, politics

Tompkins Square Park

And there seems to be a new book of photography from Powerhouse Books called “Tompkins Square”, with photographs in black and white by Q. Sakamaki and essay by Bill Weinberg that has appeared this week in memoriam of the 20th Anniversary of the Tompkins Square Park Riots in that Park, that park everywhere in that former New York City neighborhood of the Lower East Side, that is now called the East Village for real estate marketing purposes maybe. I know this book has been written because a friend, The Village Voice, The New York Times, The New York Press, The Villager and other newspapers this week say so. And that book seems to be about documenting the history of that park then and now, its symbol of resistance, its bandshell long torn down, lost and forgotten, it’s homeless encampments, its home for the homeless, its abandoned buildings,its tents, its affordable housing, its squatters squats, its riots, its protests, its arrests, its evictions, its police confrontations, its Squatter May Day Concerts, its festivals, its AIDS souls, its punk rockers, its hippies, its Dinkinsville, its Avenue A,B,C and D Alphabet City scene, Its La Plaza Cultural, its neighborhood, its 80’s, 90’s and pre gentry gentrification, genocide era, its destruction and its resurrection. And it is a book of photos and there seems to be lots of historical and archival photos of that neighborhood and times indeed in that book. And there was a book launch and 20th Anniversary Commemoration at the Powerhouse Arena just yesterday I believe, to commemorate that park and era I guess. And this book seems to be a book to read. Squatters Rights… The Squatters Are Your Neighbors…No Housing No Peace…Squat The World…No one is free when others are oppressed…Is another world possible…Long Live CBGB’s. Long Live The Lower East Side. And what does this have to do with a No Police State?
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