THIS PRETTY MUCH sums up the whole damn thing.
By the time we hit the streets with this issue, we’re sure it will be common
knowledge, but it wasn’t until late last week that the NYPD announced their plans to turn Pier 57,
at 11th Ave. and 15th St., into a giant holding pen. It was originally intended, of course, for the
thousands of protestors they’re intent on rounding up during the convention.
Trying to hold all those promised ne’er-do-wells in local precincts
would have overloaded the system. They needed one big area ringed with barbed wire where they could
stash them until they can be properly processed.
(We can’t wait to see those pictures pop up on the wire services.)
The message sent by all the security preparations prior to the convention
was clear, but never so perfectly encapsulated as this makes it. What the NYPD and the GOP are saying
to protestors of every stripe (and New Yorkers in general) is this: “If you don’t agree with us, we
look at you as enemy combatants, security threats and would-be terrorists. And we’re going to treat
you like the diseased cattle you are.”
It was interesting to note that in the weeks just before the convention,
we stopped hearing about the “terrorist threat” altogether. Instead, we were bombarded with stories
about the threats posed by protestors. A few words were switched around, but the stories were essentially
The most disturbing bit of information concerning the West Side holding
pen, however, was buried in the Post‘s account. Just a brief mention:
“Cops fear some protesters might hang around after the convention to
disrupt other events, like the U.S. Open, so the pen will remain open indefinitely.”
The U.S. Open? Other events? Like what, the 3rd Ave. Street Fair?
The grand opening celebration at a new Payless Shoe Source in Queens?
In other words, a year-round internment camp is now part of the ongoing
West Side development project. Does the Olympic Committee know about this?