City Hall Park Occupation

Protestors have started occupying City Hall Park. I believe today is day four. I went by on my walk today to take a look, and to take some pictures. That beautiful building in the background is the Surrogate’s Courthouse, which also houses the Municipal Archives. As readers of my blog know, this is one of my favorite places to spend time.

I took this picture of some police coming out of the subway because they were wearing masks. The police aren’t wearing masks so much. It seemed like they were for a while, but now many of the police I come across are not wearing masks.

George Floyd and the Municipal Archives building. I should have talked to the protestors. Their position is extreme. But maybe they have a new vision for law enforcement. By the way, I wish these protests would include the courts, the DAs, and the Department of Correction. They are all pieces of the criminal justice system puzzle (and if you step back, there are bigger pieces that also need to be addressed) and all these pieces need major reforms.

The protestor’s setup reminded me of St. Paul’s Chapel and 9/11. We had stations all along the walls, ringing the pews, and each station had medical supplies, food, beverages, and so on. All the workers and volunteers could come to St. Paul’s, and they usually could find what they needed. Same here.

This really reminded me of St. Paul’s and 9/11. Every day we got donations from all over the world and we had to organize all the boxes and put them away.

City Hall Park Occupation 2020

Another shot of the supplies. I wish I had gotten a better shot of the sign with the name Eleanor Bumpurs. Decades ago I saw an interview with Spike Lee and he was talking about Eleanor Bumpurs. I’d heard the story when it happened, but I hadn’t given it any thought at the time. But the way Spike Lee talked about it made me research her story. It was the beginning of having my eyes opened to the fact that we weren’t handling situations like hers well, which led to a gradual awakening to many other problems.

The protestors are camped out at the park, and this is where they sleep.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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