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Aug 23, 22

Mutual Aid Organizers Respond to Violent Raid from NYPD at Washington Square Park

Report from Washington Square Park Mutual aid on a violent raid from the NYPD. Originally published on Instagram.

On August 19th, NYPD’s Midtown North and South units were out of their jurisdiction and swept homeless people’s belongings without notice at Washington Square Park. At the same time, they fined park goers, harassed vendors and a free food/clothing/haircuts mutual aid distribution. Three arrested were made: two homeless individuals and one mutual aid activist who filmed the illegal “clean up.”

Three days ago NYPD midtown units, out of their jurisdiction, violated Mayor Adam’s promise to give 24 hours notice for “clean-ups” by sweeping a homeless families belongings. In addition, a long- standing weekly gathering to distribute free hot meals, sanitary and Covid-19 supplies, clothing and haircuts was disrupted by the NYPD. The officers went out of their way to Rickey vendors, and park goers wherever possible.

Fridays Mutual Aid event was to host a teach-in on supporting homeless neighbors during encampment sweeps. The teach-in was postponed in order to respond to the illegal sweep occurring nearby. Once activist who was recording the NYPD’s actions was arrested, in retaliation for the filming. The majority of the homeless family’s belongings were not thrown out due to the outraged intervention of the public.

While the city undergoes housing and shelter crisis, the NYPD continues to terrorize homeless people around the city. We demand the mayor and the NYPD explain why they sweep homeless people, forcing them into shelters, even as families slept in the DHS office and shelters are dangerously overcrowded. At the same time why are the police under Mayor Adams administration, targeting free food, supply distributions and teach-ins?”

Not a Rare Occurrence at Washington Square Park

We felt compelled to release this press statement in response to the abuses the NYPD inflicted on our community this past Friday during our regular weekly distro. This is not a rare occurrence at Washington Square Park but their actions were so flagrantly excessive that misconduct is not a strong enough word, it was closer to a rampage and the general public needs to see that spending 11 billion dollars on rampaging pigs does not buy anyone public safety.

Just to be clear we do not need the media, our elected officials or even the general public to defend our community. On Friday our community defended our community and we are prepared to do so whenever the NYPD threatens us. We will not tolerate our space to be violated. We will not tolerate our WSPMA friends and family to be harmed. We will not tolerate the park we call home to be used as a place pigs come to vent their aggression on vulnerable people.

In late spring of 2021 WSPMA was born of riots in the park and if Eric Adams ever makes the mistake to try to shut us down that’s how we’ll go out. WSPMA will remain a community space for care not cops until the NYPD is no more.

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